Saturday, October 27, 2007

Alex Ross' Top 12

The new Alex Ross book about 20th century classical music, THE REST OF NOISE, is attracting a lot of interesting attention. The book makes the cover of the New York Times Book Review, with Geoff Dyer's review concluding, "THE REST IS NOISE is a great achievement. Rilke once wrote of how he learned to stand 'more seeingly' in front of certain paintings. Ross enables us to listen more hearingly."

At, Jason Kottke interviews Ross. The interview concludes with Ross' list of 12 top works since 1980. They are:

Steve Reich, Different Trains
John Adams, Nixon in China
Kaija Saariaho, L'Amour de loin
Sofia Gubaidulina, Offertorium
Gérard Grisey, Les Espaces acoustiques
Arvo Pärt, Da pacem domine
Louis Andriessen, De Stijl
Thomas Ades, Asyla
Georg Friedrich Haas, in vain
Michael Gordon, Decasia
Magnus Lindberg, Kraft
Osvaldo Golijov, St. Mark Passion


Jeffrey Quick said...

Should I admit that I've only heard of 83% of the composers and have only heard 41% of the pieces? This sounds like a fair musicological assessment of overall activity, but the fracturing of style also means a fracturing of audience, which means that many people only listen within their own subgenre. Not sure that's healthy, but it is what is.

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