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Preview: Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise

Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise

Books, articles, and a blog by the music critic of The New Yorker

Updated: 2017-08-14T11:31:27-04:00


Salzburg Festival 2017


Power Play. The New Yorker, Aug. 21, 2017. Unfortunately, because of a misunderstanding late in the editing process, the print version of the column claims that Peter Sellars compared Nelson Mandela to Leopold II, the Austrian Emperor. The comparison was,...

Wagner in Omaha, 1887 and 1895


The first is a visit by the National Opera Company, during its troubled nationwide tour, with an array of operas that included Lohengrin; the second is Walter Damrosch, the New York Symphony, and a distinguished retinue of singers, including Johanna...



The indomitable Flux Quartet, who gave the first complete performance of Morton Feldman's gigantic Second Quartet in 1999, repeat the feat at Espace Louis Vuitton in Tokyo on Aug. 8.... ICE will give the American première of Liza Lim's How...

At the graves of Willa Cather and Edith Lewis


Photos courtesy of longtime Noise friend Ara Guzelimian.

At the grave of Anton Bruckner


During a visit to the Salzburg Festival, I had time for a short day trip to visit a composer's grave, per morbid habit. I faced a choice between Bruckner in St. Florian or Webern in Mittersill. I sought the advice...

At the grave of Georg Trakl


Innsbruck. The great Austrian poet is on the lower right.

Notes on gay opera


Meyrianne Héglon as Omphale in Xavier Leroux's Astarté. For the New Yorker website I've written a Cultural Comment on the recent wave of gay-themed operas, with particular attention to productions of Lou Harrison's Young Caesar at the L.A. Philharmonic and...



The Earle Brown Foundation is bringing its Time Spans Festival to New York Aug. 1-5. It's a fantastic lineup both of ensembles — Talea, Bozzini Quartet, JACK Quartet — and of repertory: recent works of Chaya Czernowin, Steven Takasugi, Jürg...

Bruce Odland and the Tank


Tank Music. The New Yorker, July 24, 2017.

Toscanini and power


A Cultural Comment at the New Yorker website, July 12, 2017. The photograph, which appeared in the program booklet for Toscanini's 1944 Red Cross benefit at Madison Square Garden, is by Sgt. Stanley Smith. It shows a 1943 mission by...