Several people have famously said that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture." Even with Mark Bramhall's fine narration, there are stretches here where non-musician listeners will not quite get what Tommasini is talking about. Nevertheless, with Bramhall's help we do learn which composers the NEW YORK TIMES music critic considers indispensable, from Monteverde to Bartok, and why. The book draws on the author's personal contacts with the music under discussion, and Bramhall conveys the controlled but authentic enthusiasm of someone who loves music enough to make it his life. One might argue with Tommasini's choices, but he supports them with rational arguments, providing a basic background in music history and theory along the way. D.M.H. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine [Published: NOVEMBER 2018]
Trade Ed. Penguin Audio 2018
DD ISBN 9780525639978 $27.50
Library Ed. Books on Tape 2018
DD ISBN 9780525639985 $95.00
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