Absolutely on Music

Absolutely on Music


Book - 2016
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Random House, Inc.
A deeply personal, intimate conversation about music and writing between the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author and the former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

In Absolutely on Music, internationally Haruki Murakami sits down with his friend Seiji Ozawa, the revered former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, for a series of conversations on their shared passion: music. Over the course of two years, Murakami and Ozawa discuss everything from Brahms to Beethoven, from Leonard Bernstein to Glenn Gould, from Bartók to Mahler, and from pop-up orchestras to opera. They listen to and dissect recordings of some of their favorite performances, and Murakami questions Ozawa about his career conducting orchestras around the world. Culminating in Murakami’s ten-day visit to the banks of Lake Geneva to observe Ozawa’s retreat for young musicians, the book is interspersed with ruminations on record collecting, jazz clubs, orchestra halls, film scores, and much more. A deep reflection on the essential nature of both music and writing, Absolutely on Music is an unprecedented glimpse into the minds of two maestros.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2016
Edition: First United States edition
Copyright Date: ©2011
ISBN: 9780804173728
Branch Call Number: 784.2 Oz1a
Characteristics: xix, 325 pages ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Rubin, Jay 1941-
Murakami, Haruki 1949-


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Sep 08, 2017

A fascinating look at making music from the inside.

Murakami, here acting more as a journalist than a novelist, interviews conductor Seiji Ozawa about music (and other topics), often referring to specific moments in specific recordings by Ozawa and others. Obviously most of the music discussed is symphonic (composers range from Mozart and Brahms to Gershwin and Bernstein to Messiaen and Takemitsu, with a whole chapter on Mahler and another on a single Beethoven concerto); but both Murakami and Ozawa are also fans of other genres and they discuss blues and jazz as well. The last chapter is Ozawa's reflections of teaching at a music festival, and how the students grow from "not ready at all" to a mature ensemble during one week of classes and rehearsals.


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