Alex Ross

The Rest Is Noise Series: The Art of Fear

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This is a chapter taken from Alex Ross’s groundbreaking history of twentieth-century classical music, The Rest is Noise.
Ross shows how the flowering of avant-garde music in early twentieth-century Russia was co-opted, corrupted and crushed by the dictatorial ideology of Stalin’s Russia, with great composers including Shostakovich and Prokofiev forced to choose between collaboration, exile or ostracism.
Now a major festival running throughout 2013 at London’s Southbank, The Rest is Noise is an intricate commentary not just on the sounds that defined the century, but on art’s troublesome dance with politics, social and cultural change.
Alex Ross is the New Yorker’s music critic, and the winner of the Guardian First Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award for The Rest is Noise, which was also shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson and Pulitzer prizes for non-fiction.
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85 printed pages
Original publication



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