The Atlantic

The Books Briefing: These Books Are Alive With the Sound of Music

Your weekly guide to the best in books
Source: New York Public Library

I’ll acknowledge that reading about music seems counterintuitive. But it’s one thing to just listen to a piece or song, and another thing entirely to do so while understanding what a particular melody might represent, or what inspired a composer, or what impact a certain work may have had on musical history.

The esteemed pianist Alfred Brendel gives readers a peek inside his mind with a collection of his essays and lectures that unpack “sound, silence, sublimity, humor, and the performer’s criticalAnthony Tommasini reconsiders the legacy of Giacomo Puccini, the prolific composer of operatic works like and

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