Alex Ross's Musical Threads: Brahms, Bjork, and Beyond

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Celebrated music critic Alex Ross takes on the musical world from Brahms to blues to Bjork.

Icelandic singer Bjork performs during a concert in Jakarta, Indonesia. (AP)
Icelandic singer Bjork performs during a concert in Jakarta, Indonesia. (AP)

Alex Ross may be the most celebrated music critic in the country. He knows people are skeptical about music criticism – like whoever said “writing about music is like dancing about architecture.”

And yet, music moves us so deeply that we want to know why. We want to feel it, understand it – and to think about its meaning.

Ross does that across quite a range. On Verdi, Schubert, Brahms, Wagner – he’s there; on Bjork, Nirvana, Radiohead, Sonic Youth – he’s there, too.

Today, he’s with us, saying “listen to this," from Beethoven to Bjork.
-Tom Ashbrook

Alex Ross, music critic for The New Yorker since 1996.  He's author of international bestseller "The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century."  His new book is "Listen to This."

You can read an excerpt here. (Excerpted from Listen to This by Alex Ross. Published in October 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Copyright © 2010 by Alex Ross. All rights reserved.)


You can listen to selected excerpts from the music that Alex discusses here.  Plus, an On Point fan favorite: Link and listen to Alex's last appearance, where he discussed 20th century classical music. Also, hear On Point's 2004 interview with the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, whom Alex discusses in "Listen to This."

This program aired on October 15, 2010.


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