I’m only on page 86 of longtime The New Yorker music critic Alex Ross‘s magisterial Wagnerism, and I’ve already learned a seminar’s worth of insight into the philosophico-aesthetic milieu of Germany and France, particularly, in the second half of the 19th century. …and modern German intellectual history is a subject I’ve studied extensively, and is near and dear to my conception of “modernity” as such. Ross’s reviews in The New Yorker are always a treat, even when I don’t understand technical details — my musical education made it as far as high school wind ensemble and the occasional stint with the college marching band, though my heart by then wasn’t in it.

Even though I still have 600+ pages to go, I can already recommend this work for the specialist as well as the layman. Ross has that ability.

~ by Benji on November 9, 2020.

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