The Rest is Noise

Suite à l’apparition de ce livre dans plusieurs listes des meilleurs livres parus en 2007 ainsi qu’une entrevue particulièrement intéressante de l’auteur par Jason Kottke, j’ai décidé de me plonger dans The Rest is Noise: Listening to the 20th century.

À la fin du livre, une section présente une liste de 30 enregistrements pour se familiariser avec les propos du livre. Le site de l’auteur, Alex Ross, critique musical pour The New Yorker, regorge d’informations. J’ai bien l’intention de vous faire part de mes découvertes…!

Kottke: I just received a copy of your book in the mail, and it’s got a “Suggested Listening” section following the endnotes with 10 recommended recordings and 20 more if you make it through those. How did you go about choosing those? Narrowing the 20th century musical landscape down to 30 recordings…that’s pretty cheeky.

Ross: It’s very hard, not to mention cheeky, picking recommended recordings, because so often it’s a matter of personal taste, both in terms of what works really “matter” and also in terms of which recordings are best. The almighty “Rite of Spring” has received any number of brilliant recordings over the years. Having picked one of Stravinsky’s own versions – he had such a great feeling for rhythm as a conductor – I immediately wondered whether I should have chosen the recent Esa-Pekka Salonen/LA Philharmonic version on DG, which is in gleaming modern sound and is as rock-solid as any “Rite” of modern times. So it’s subjective and leads to endless argument. But I was simply recommending a bunch of starting points, not the be-all end-all ultimate Top 10 of all time. I favored recordings that were cheap, that covered a lot of ground in 60 or 70 minutes. People can listen to excerpts on iTunes and Amazon and see if they really want to plunk down the cash. One thing’s for sure: you do need to own the “Rite,” no matter what kind of music you love. It’s the original sexy.