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The Way We Listen Now and Other Writings

Overview

Published in association with the Cosman Keller Art and Music Trust. Over the last forty years Bayan Northcott has established himself as one of London's leading music critics, a figure much admired by Hans Keller (1919-85) whose ideas he frequently invokes. Moving easily between the classics and the moderns, and writing with exceptional acuity, he brings a vast knowledge to bear on every issue great or small. In these years, though, he has also developed as a composer; and it is the meeting point of critic and ...
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Overview

Published in association with the Cosman Keller Art and Music Trust. Over the last forty years Bayan Northcott has established himself as one of London's leading music critics, a figure much admired by Hans Keller (1919-85) whose ideas he frequently invokes. Moving easily between the classics and the moderns, and writing with exceptional acuity, he brings a vast knowledge to bear on every issue great or small. In these years, though, he has also developed as a composer; and it is the meeting point of critic and artist that this, his first selection of essays, celebrates. The first part deals mainly with musical questions, the second with music for words, the third with a gallery of composers, and the fourth with the various states of music. It is a book that will appeal to ordinary music lovers and connoisseurs alike.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The prose is vivid and trenchant, the argument repeatedly softens the reader up for the brilliantly unexpected surprise...The greatest pleasure of this collection lies in its illuminating essays on things like bells and silence, on pulse, pace, and time, and on individual composers. INDEPENDENT (Michael Church)One of those rarest of creatures - an insightful musicologist who writes with journalistic immediacy...(these pieces) time and time again serve to confirm him as the inheritor of the late Hans Keller's reputation for eloquence and cogency...this stimulating book will be of interest and value to anyone concerned with the how and why of the many ways in which we listen to classical music. CLASSICAL MUSIC (Editor's Choice)First and foremost, one marvels at Northcott's wonderfully lucid prose which will communicate readily to both the general reader and the specialist...This collection, meticulously edited by Christopher Wintle...deserves a place on every self-respecting musician's bookshelf. BBC MUSIC There are a small number whose writing satisfies the interests and tastes of specialist and generalist alike. Bayan Northcott ... belongs in (this) group. TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENTWhether it's about minimalism or Wagner, he presents perceptive insights in superbly crisp prose. THE TIMES (Richard Morrison)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780955608728
  • Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
  • Publication date: 5/21/2009
  • Series: Poetics of Music
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Author's Preface vii

Editor's Preface xi

Notes on the Artists xv

Part 1 The Sense of Sound

1 The Music that Remains 3

2 Compose Yourself 6

3 The Way We Listen Now 10

4 The Time of Music 13

5 The Music of Time 17

6 'Could I But Express...' 22

7 The Expressionist Moment 26

8 Sight and Sound 29

9 'Fain Would I Change That Note' 32

10 New Notes for Old Instruments 37

11 Survival of the Soundest 41

12 But is it Mozart? (I) 45

Part 2 The Music of Words

1 Setting Words to Rights 51

2 Cross-talk 55

3 The Librettist's Lament 60

4 Notes on Auden 65

Part 3 Composing Mortals

1 After Bach 79

2 Haydn Alone 84

3 But is it Mozart? (II) 87

4 Wagner Takes the Stage 90

5 Brahms and Antipathy 95

6 Poulenc en collage 99

7 The Case of Ruth Crawford Seeger 104

8 In Search of Walton 108

9 The Once and Future Tippett 116

10 The Britten Aesthetic 121

11 Stravinsky's Britten 127

12 Carter's Relativity Rag 134

13 The 'Found Sounds' of Judith Weir 141

Part 4 The States of Music

1 Earlier Than Thou 147

2 Style or Idea? 150

3 Down with Classical Music 153

4 Behind Closed Doors 156

5 Hollywood and Bust 159

6 Blueprints for an Expanding Universe 163

7 Less Means Less 166

8 Reverberations of 1968 169

9 Fear and Loathing of Modern Music 173

10 Voices of the World, Unite! 176

11 Green and Prescient Land 179

12 Deteriorating Reception on the Third 182

13 It's a Cultural Revolution 185

14 Last Waltz? 188

Envoi: In Search of an Ending

1 In Search of an Ending 193

2 It Tolls for Thee 198

3 Echoes from Selborne 201

4 The Rest is Silence 204

Bibliographical Note 211

Index 215

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