Charles Rosen’s “astonishing” new book

Posted on: July 20, 2010

In Saturday’s (7/17) Guardian (London), actor and director Simon Callow, a devotee of classical music, writes about Charles Rosen’s new book. “In Music and Sentiment he turns to the big subject of how music performs its miracles, but, characteristically, he focuses on a seemingly limited aspect of it: how the change in representing sentiment in music was developed, and what it could mean for the conception of music. … What is astonishing, given the rigor of the analysis and the apparent technicality of the approach, is how moving the book is. His account of the first movement of Mozart’s String Quartet in G major, K387, revealing what he characteristically calls its ‘variety of affective nuances,’ closely analyzes every dynamic contrast, the alternation between diatonic and chromatic harmony, ‘the hidden and symmetrical contrast of sentiments.’ It gives a profound insight into a work that has always stirred me without my ever comprehending why…. Should you want to open yourself to what is there in the greatest music, this very concise book is not just a companion, it is an education.” An excerpt from Music and Sentiment appears in the July-August issue of SymphonyOnline

Posted July 20, 2010