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The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century

Alex Ross’s sweeping history of twentieth-century classical music, winner of the Guardian First Book Award, is a gripping account of a musical revolution.
The landscape of twentieth-century classical music is a wild one: this was a period in which music fragmented into apparently divergent strands, each influenced by its own composers, performers and musical innovations. In this comprehensive tour, Alex Ross, music critic for the ‘New Yorker’, explores the people and places that shaped musical development: Adams to Zweig, Brahms to Björk, pre-First World War Vienna to ‘Nixon in China’.
Above all, this unique portrait of an exceptional era weaves together art, politics and cultural history to show how twentieth-century classical music was both a symptom and a source of immense social change.
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