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Descripción de editorial
For readers of Mozart in the Jungle and Year of Wonder, a new history of and guide to classical music.
Paul Morley made his name as a journalist covering the rock and pop of the 1970s and 1980s. But as his career progressed, he found himself drawn toward developing technologies, streaming platforms, and, increasingly, the music from the past that streaming services now made available. Suddenly able to access every piece Mozart or Bach had ever written and to curate playlists that worked with these musicians' themes across different performers, composers, and eras, he began to understand classical music in a whole new way and to believe that it was music at its most dramatic and revealing.
In A Sound Mind, Morley takes readers along on his journey into the history and future of classical music. His descriptions, explanations, and guidance make this seemingly arcane genre more friendly to listeners and show the music's power, depth, and timeless beauty. In Morley's capable hands, the history of the classical genre is shown to be the history of all music, with these long-ago pieces influencing everyone from jazz greats to punk rockers and the pop musicians of today.
British rock critic and journalist Morley (Words and Music) embraces contemporary classical music at its most outr in this labyrinthine meditation. Morley locates the soul of classical music in a passion for innovation that eclipses now-formulaic pop styles. While he salutes old masters including Mozart as still-relevant revolutionaries, he focuses more on modern compositions that are an arduously acquired tastes, including Luciano Berio's Sequenza V, written in 1966, an atonal trombone solo performed in a clown getup. The book is a grab-bag, jumbling together playlists, loose-limbed thematic essays, reminiscences of studying composition and writing a string quartet at London's Royal Academy of Music, and rambling interviews with such composers as John Adams and Sir Harrison Birtwistle. Morley delivers many perceptive, tunefully written passages, but many more that display the music-criticism sins of overintellectualizing, obscure erudition, and restless hungering for an unheralded avant-garde to champion (Harrison Birtwistle, for instance, "imagined an entirely different history of the string quartet" and "his entire music orbits classical history, but never lands"). Cognoscenti may relish Morley's appreciation of painfully highbrow music, but ordinary classical-music lovers will find most of it a baffling slog. \n