The Substance of Things Heard
Title Details

395 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Imprint: University of Rochester Press

The Substance of Things Heard

Writings about Music

by Paul Griffiths

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
A choice selection of essays, reviews and interviews providing insights into musical performance, composition in the late 20th century and very early 21st, and the nature of opera.
Paul Griffiths offers his own personal selection of some of his most substantial and imaginative articles and concert reviews from over three decades of indefatigable concertgoing around the world. He reports on premieres and other important performances of works by such composers as Elliott Carter, Sofia Gubaidulina, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Steve Reich, as well as Harrison Birtwistle and other important British figures.
Griffiths vividly conveys the vision, aura, and idiosyncrasies of prominent pianists, singers, and conductors [such as Herbert von Karajan], and debates changing styles of performing Monteverdi and Purcell. A particular delight is his response to the worldof opera, including Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande [six contrasting productions], Pavarotti and Domingo in Verdi at New York's Metropolitan Opera, Schoenberg's Moses and Aaron, and two wildly different Jonathan Miller versions of Mozart's Don Giovanni.
From the author's preface: "We cannot say what music is. Yet we are verbal creatures, and strive with words to cast a net around it, knowing most of this immaterial stuff will evadecapture. The stories that follow cover a wide range of events over a period of great change. Yet the net's aim was always the same, to catch the substance of things heard.
"Criticism has to work largely by analogy and metaphor. This is no limitation. It is largely through such verbal ties that music is linked to other sorts of experience, not least the natural world and the orchestra of our feelings."

Paul Griffiths's reviews and articleshave appeared extensively in both Britain [Times, Financial Times, Times Literary Supplement] and the United States [New Yorker, New York Times]. He has written numerous books on Bartók, Cage, Messiaen, Boulez, Maxwell Davies, twentieth-century music, opera, and the string quartet, and is the author of the recent Penguin Companion to Classical Music. He is also author of The Sea on Fire: Jean Barraqué.
A Debut
Berio
Paths to Montsalvat
Carter
Da lontano
Gubaidulina
A Handful of Pianists
Purcell
Around New York
Tippett
Being in Assisi
Boulez
The Composer's Voice
Mozart 1991
A Decade of Don Giovannis
Henze
Operatic Passions
Vivier
At the Movies
Schoenberg on the Stage
Five British Composers
Lachenmann
Mapping Mtsensk
Stockhausen
Behind the Rusting Curtain
Verdi at the Met
A Quintet of Singers
Schnittke
How It Was, Maybe
Reich
Tracks in Allemonde
Birtwistle
A Departure
"This brilliant collection brings home how an astute human observer can preserve aspects of a performance that even the best recording cannot. . . . Offers meaty, flavorful chapters on Berio, Carter, Gubaidulina, Tippett, Messiaen's Saint François d'Assise, . . . [plus] reviews of performances mostly of older music, all equally revelatory examples of the taste of the times. . . . Meticulously produced and well worth its price twice over." Michael Miller, BERKSHIRE REVIEW FOR THE ARTS
"Griffiths writes more eloquently and with greater insight than any of his peers. . . Illuminating, translucent, sagacious, [The Substance of Things Heard] is a fine anthology, and an indispensable addition to the library of any serious classical music lover." TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
"An informed and passionate involvement with new music, an imaginative and civilised turn of the phrase, and the readiness to warmly appreciate. --Alfred Brendel, pianist and author of Alfred Brendel on Music: Collected Essays (Chicago Review Press)" .
"Music criticism in the English language has been fortunate in attracting distinguished writers, such as George Bernard Shaw and Ezra Pound. Nowadays, Paul Griffiths comes closest to filling this ecological niche. Future musicologists will have to take Griffiths's responses into account in mapping the relation between music and culture in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. --Daniel Albright [Harvard University], author of Untwisting the Serpent: Modernism in Music, Literature, and Other Arts (University of Chicago Press)" .
"A fascinating read. --Ian Bostridge, operatic tenor and recitalist" .
"No critic gives so interesting, complete, judicious and readable an account of the world of music as Paul Griffiths. --Charles Rosen, pianist and author of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas [Yale], The Romantic Generation [Harvard], and Piano Notes: The World of the Pianist [Free Press]." .
"There is no mistaking the penetration and eloquence of Griffiths's own singular voice. . . on every page of this distinguished work." Arnold Whittall, MUSICAL TIMES
"A superb, highly recommended anthology." Mark Thwaite, THE BOOK DEPOSITORY

Hardcover

9781580462068

October 2005

Buy

£75.00 / $90.00

Shipping Options

Buy

Buy

Purchasing options are not available in this country.

Ebook (EPDF)

9781580466486

October 2005

£19.99 / $24.99

Unavailable

Shipping Options

Buy

Buy

Purchasing options are not available in this country.

Title Details

395 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Imprint: University of Rochester Press