A brief interview with Alex Ross. He’s got a new book on the way this fall, which I predict that I will enjoy immensely.

What I want to do is to provide an intelligent introduction to this fabulous, labyrinthine world: not just the music itself, from Schoenberg and Stravinsky onward, but the entire cultural and social tumult around it: the Rite of Spring riot, the interaction of composers and jazz people in the twenties, the entanglement of composers in totalitarian regimes, the weird intersections of post-WWII avant-garde composers and Cold War politics, the origins of minimalism in the alternative philosophies of the West Coast. It’s not so much a history of twentieth-century music as a history of the twentieth century told through music.

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