SETTLING THE SCORE by Ned Rorem

SETTLING THE SCORE

Essays on Music
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Two decades' worth of music essays and reviews selected by the Pulitzer Prize winning composer/critic himself.

Rorem's beat here is 20th-century music, mostly highbrow (from Debussy, Ravel, and Poulenc to George Crumb and John Cage); always, his take is keen, informed, self-aware--and sometimes prone to major revision, as when a 1962 essay noting the tolling of "the funeral bells of song" is followed by a 1970 essay acclaiming the songs of the 60's as of a quality "any decade might envy." Rorem's deafness to the charms of rock 'n' roll annoys--is Bob Dylan, with his "negroidistic accents," merely "an ersatz Billle" Holiday?

Still, for fluid, delving music writing, this collection is top-drawer.

Pub Date: May 24th, 1988
ISBN: 978-0-15-180895-3
Page count: 366pp
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich