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Music Quickens Time

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In this eloquent book, Daniel Barenboim draws on his profound and uniquely influential engagement with music to argue for its central importance in our everyday lives. Turning to his intense involvement with Palestine, he examines the transformative power of music in the world, from his own performances of Wagner in Israel and his foundation, with Edward Said, of the internationally acclaimed West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Music Quickens Time reveals how the sheer power and eloquence of music offers us a way to ...

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Music Quickens Time

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Overview

In this eloquent book, Daniel Barenboim draws on his profound and uniquely influential engagement with music to argue for its central importance in our everyday lives. Turning to his intense involvement with Palestine, he examines the transformative power of music in the world, from his own performances of Wagner in Israel and his foundation, with Edward Said, of the internationally acclaimed West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Music Quickens Time reveals how the sheer power and eloquence of music offers us a way to explore and shed light on the way in which we live, and to illuminate and resolve some of the most intractable issues of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Why does music have such universal appeal, and how does music help us understand human nature? In this sometimes electrifying, sometimes pedantic journey through the world of music, world famous director, composer and conductor Barenboim engages these and other questions as he searches to unlock music's peculiar power. In the book's first part, he meditates on topics ranging from sound and thought, listening and hearing through a tale of two Palestinians from different backgrounds (one grew up in a Ramallah refugee camp, the other in Nazareth), in which he chronicles the ways that music changed their lives. He recalls how music bridged the gap of political hatred in the West-Eastern Divan project, an orchestra composed of Israeli and Palestinian musicians that he and the late Edward Said put together. For the young people in this orchestra, music provided the language for continuous dialogue. The book's second section gathers occasional pieces previously published in magazines and newspapers that range over topics from Schumann, Bach and Mozart to Pierre Boulez and Wilhelm Furtwängler. In his tribute to his late friend Edward Said, for example, Barenboim recalls that for Said every musical masterpiece was a conception of the world. Barenboim concludes through these illuminating meditations that the power of music lies in its ability to speak to all aspects of the human being. (Nov.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Meditations on one's professional life and work are numerous, especially in the area of music performance and musicology. Barenboim, one of the premier pianists and conductors of the modern era (he conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 15 years), offers his examination of various topics within and around music, music performance, and music personalities. His book is divided into two parts: Part 1, "The Power of Music," comprises six chapters dealing with various issues such as listening and hearing music, the orchestra, and the author's personal relationship with Palestine and Palestinians; in Part 2, "Variations," Barenboim shares his thoughts on musical composers such as Mozart, Boulez, and Schumann and discusses his friendship with Edward Said and his creation of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Anyone interested in Barenboim's musical wisdom will enjoy this volume. An appropriate purchase for most public libraries and a welcome addition to all academic music libraries and performing arts libraries.
—Bradford Lee Eden

The Economist
“Whether discussing the structure of a Mozart finale or the problem of performing Wagner to a Jewish audience, Mr. Barenboim proves a wonderfully compelling maestro.”
The New Yorker
“The writing brims with an optimism that is both heroic and hard-won.”
New York Observer
“Truly riveting.”
The New York Times
“There is no one quite like him today in the music world.”
From the Publisher
“Whether discussing the structure of a Mozart finale or the problem of performing Wagner to a Jewish audience, Mr. Barenboim proves a wonderfully compelling maestro.”—The Economist

“The writing brims with an optimism that is both heroic and hard-won.”—The New Yorker

“Truly riveting.”—New York Observer

“Electrifying ... Barenboim concludes through these illuminating meditations that the power of music lies in its ability to speak to all aspects of the human being.”—Publishers Weekly

“There is no one quite like him today in the music world.”—The New York Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844672875
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 11/17/2008
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Part 1 The Power of Music

Prelude 3

1 Sound and Thought 5

2 Listening and Hearing 21

3 Freedom of Thought and Interpretation 37

4 The Orchestra 49

5 A Tale of Two Palestinians 73

6 Finale 93

Part 2 Variations

1 I Have a Dream 111

2 On Schumann 115

3 Remembering Edward Said 123

4 I Was Reared on Bach 131

5 On Wilhelm Furtw&aumlet;ngler 137

6 On Pierre Boulez 139

7 On Don Giovanni 149

8 On the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra 157

9 On Mozart 161

10 On Dual Citizenship 171

Notes 175

Index 177

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