A Real Rhapsody playlist blog of questionable quality

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Rest Is Noise, An Occasional Companion: Salome

I've mentioned a couple times that my Christmas stocking brought me the Alex Ross book The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century. As a complete philistine when it comes to this kind of thing, I've been thoroughly enjoying the stories, the writing, and the music. Rhapsody (along with those new speakers) has been a damn handy resource for doing the actual listening along to the twentieth century. There are some pages that name-check up to ten different pieces of music, so investigating them all in hard copy would be a pretty daunting and expensive task.

Mister Ross' own site includes an annotated chapter guide with sound samples, and links to some pieces on iTunes.

I haven't been playlisting every single piece, but have come across a few helpful things I'll tack up here as they get organized.

The first chapter starts with the premiere of Richard Strauss' opera Salome. I was able to follow the action in this one more closely after finding the side-by-side German-English libretto on Google Books.

And, when there are multiple recordings of a piece in Rhapsody I've been fumbling around Wikipedia, Amazon reviews, and odd forums for guidance on picking a winner. For Salome, this imperfect method led me to this Decca recording by the Wiener Philharmoniker, with Birgit Nilsson in the title role.

Richard Strauss' Salome [Rhapsody Online Version]

Richard Strauss' Salome [Rhapsody Player Software Version]


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