A couple days ago I posted a bit of a review of Listen to This, the most recent book from New Yorker music critic Alex Ross – consistently one of the most exciting and informative voices in music criticism today, who writes as well about punk as he does about Bach. I’m a huge fan. Ross is speaking this Thursday at Wheeler Auditorium on the UC Berkeley campus. Tickets start at $28. A full description of this Cal Performances event is below.
If you’re not familiar with Alex Ross, you should check out his work in The New Yorker. Anyone with an interest in music should read his previous book, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, a truly engaging piece of critical commentary that will be as much fun for general readers with little or no background as for academics and critics.
Alex Ross, Chacona, Lamento, Walking Blues: Bass Lines of Music History: “Alex Ross, music critic of The New Yorker and author of the award-winning international bestseller The Rest Is Noise, conducts a whirlwind history of music as told through bass lines. In an audio-rich lecture based on a chapter of his new book, Listen to This, Ross shows how lusty Spanish dances were transformed into somber masterpieces of Purcell, Bach, and Fats Waller; he also explores the fascinating link between figures of lament in Eastern European folk music, Renaissance Masses, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and the songs of Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin. This is an extraordinary tale of the interconnectedness of musical language and the universality of human emotion.” (via Cal Performances.)