qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

Why Lebrecht?

Book reviews have been on hold for a while, but reading hasn't, so there is a bit of a catch-up to be done. Here's a start.

Book Review: Why Mahler? - How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed the World, by Norman Lebrecht
This has had mixed reviews on Amazon, and I also had mixed feelings about Lebrecht's novel The Song of Names which I read a few years ago, but I decided this was worth a try.

I'm pleased I did. Although I did find Lebrecht's persistent use of the present tense mildly irritating, on the whole I enjoyed the book. I found it about right in terms of how seriously it took its subject - there is a bit of frivolity here and there, but for the most part it's educational without being too austere. For the most part I could have done without the quite lengthy section on Lebrecht's views on the available discography, although I am interested to discover there is (another) version of the Tenth Symphony, completed by Rudolf Barshai, which should be worth listening to. Certainly the book gives a picture of Mahler as a more rounded human being than the icon of tragedy he is often cast as.
Tags: books, music
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.