And so it begins

Many if not most of us in the concert music blogosphere having been awaiting the publication of The Rest is Noise, Alex Ross's book on 20th century music. The first review is out, and there is commentary on that review.

The review is by Adam Kirsch of The New York Sun. It's a positive review, but it reperents a misreading of some of what Mr. Ross has to say about the last third or so of the century. (I'll have a review of the book later this month.)

What I wanted to point to here, though, is a reaction to that review. Eugene David, who bills himself as "The One-Minute Pundit" has castigated Mr. Ross, saying that he is, in the book, a critic who "won't get mad when anger is justified". This is based not on the book, but on Mr. Kirsch's review. Telephone game to ensue, no doubt.

At any rate, I look forward to many discussions of this book. I only hope they are largely based on what is actually in the book.

UPDATE: I note the appearance this morning of Terry Teachout's review in Commentary magazine. This is one I have looked forward to, given that they have some important overlaps in aesthetics while having serious disagreements about politics. It doesn't disappoint.

Also, congratulations to Mr. Teachout on his impending marriage. I can say with some authority that he has a lot to look forward to; my 30th anniversary is next week.


  1. Happy Birthday! Congrats on the blog, your upcoming 30th anniversary, and continued wit, insights and friendship! Can't wait to read the Ross.


  2. Anonymous11:10 AM

    Happy anniversary! Many years more!

    Now, I haven't read the Alex Ross book (though an e-mail notification came in that it is available on amazon.com); and I don't know that I'll seek it out anytime soon. But from what I have read of his, I can't think that he deserves castigation.