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B. H. Haggin has been writing music criticism for many years in The Nation, ound & Horn, the old Brooklyn Eagle, the Herald Tribune, Kenyon Review, New public. Hudson Review and other periodicals. Now that his finest and/or most typical pieces from from 1929 to the present have been brought together, it is easy to understand why he is one of the most respectd and beloved, even revered, men plying is particular trade today. The generation old enough to have read his early articles in their original media -- to have, in fact, attended the performances re-viewed in them -- should be gleeful and nostalgic to have them at last bound in permanent form. Younger people wil find Music observed precisely the right title: the asty, living, breathing quality of the writing is a fair match for the trained sharpness of perception and judgment, and through his eyes they may look back with fresh insight upon the legends of singers, soloists, and orchestras of the past. Postscripts dated 1964 are appended to many of the articules, giving a sense of musical continuity seldom noted by American critics. The introduction is a fine saucy retort to the oft-heard notion that criticism is a genre to which objective value-gudgments may not be brought. Music observed is not a bit dated, not a bit out of step with the largest fraction of modern audiences even if some of Mr. Haggin's spinions are currently out of fashion in certain pretentious circles. It is a rare great and belongs in every true music lover's home.

Publisher: Oxford