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Absolutely on Music

Absolutely on Music

von Haruki Murakami; Seiji Ozawa


Inhalt - A deeply personal, intimate conversation about music and writing between the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author and the former conductor of ... mehr zum Inhalt

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Taschenbuch
Conversations
293 Seiten
203 mm x 134 mm

2017 Random House US; Vintage
Übersetzt von: Jay Rubin
ISBN 978-0-8041-7372-8

Besprechung

"A fascinating collection of conversations. . . . The unpretentious and engaging dialogues between passionate artists-the bewitching writer in whose novels music plays a prominent part and the indefatigable, amiable conductor-make the pages fly." -The New York Times

"Highly entertaining. . . . A book that opens a new side of [Murakami's] authorial persona." -San Francisco Chronicle

"Absolutely on Music is an unprecedented treasure. . . . Talking about music is like dancing about architecture, it's often said, but what joy to watch these two friends dance." -The Guardian

"Enthralling. . . . What comes through in these conversations is the devotion both men feel for music; the degree to which every detail of a work matters to them." -The Seattle Times

"Fascinating. . . . [Murakami's] preparation and curiosity draw out Mr. Ozawa wonderfully." -The Wall Street Journal

"An enviable word picture of the artistic life of two men at the top of their professional games. . . . [Absolutely on Music] offers so much that bears re-reading and considering." -The Washington Times

"Irresistibly seductive." -Evening Standard

"Refreshingly honest and enthusiastic, a mental sampler from both the writer and the musician." -The Buffalo News

"The book shines as a deep exploration into how a conductor does his job and how performer personalities, logistical factors, and mundane bureaucracies can change an orchestra's sound." -The New Republic

"Intriguing insights about the nature of music. . . . In some ways, these conversations are High Fidelity for classical music fans." -Publishers Weekly

"A strange and delightful book. . . . [Murakami] describes music with rich and suggestive metaphors and images that capture something essential about the spirit of the music." -The Christian Science Monitor


Textauszug

Introduction
My Afternoons with Seiji Ozawa

Until we started the interviews in this book, I had never had a serious conversation with Seiji Ozawa about music. True, I lived in Boston from 1993 to 1995, while he was still music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and I would often go to concerts he conducted, but I was just another anonymous fan in the audience. Not long after that, my wife and I happened to become friends with his daughter, Seira, and we would see and talk to her father now and then. But our acquaintance was casual and had nothing to do with either his work or mine.

Perhaps one reason we never talked seriously about music until recently is that the maestro's work kept him so fully involved. As a result, whenever we got together to have a drink, we'd talk about anything other than music. At most, we might have shared a few fragmentary remarks on some musical topics that never led anywhere. Ozawa is the type of person who focuses all his energy on his work, so that when he steps away from it, he needs to take a breather. Knowing this, I avoided bringing up musical topics when I was in his company.

In December of 2009, however, Ozawa was found to have esophageal cancer, and after major surgery the following month, he had to restrict his musical activities, largely replacing them with a challenging program of recuperation and rehabilitation. Perhaps because of this regime, we gradually began to talk more about music whenever we met. As weakened as he was, he took on a new vitality whenever the topic turned to music. Even when talking with a musical layman such as myself, any sort of conversation about music seemed to provide the refreshment he needed. And the very fact that I was not in his field probably set him at ease.

I have been a fervent jazz fan for close to half a century, but I have also been listening to classical music with no less enjoyment, collecting classical records since I was in high school, and going to concerts as often as time would permit. Especially when I was living in Europe- from 1986 to 1989-I was immersed in classical music. Listening to jazz and the classics has always been both an effective stimulus and a source of peace to my heart and mind. If someone told me that I could listen to only one or the other but not to both, my life would be immeasurably diminished. As Duke Ellington once said, "There are simply two kinds of music, good music and the other kind." In that sense, jazz and classical music are fundamentally the same. The pure joy one experiences listening to "good" music transcends questions of genre.

During one of Seiji Ozawa's visits to my home, we were listening to music and talking about one thing or another when he told me a tremendously interesting story about Glenn Gould and Leonard Bernstein's 1962 performance in New York of Brahms's First Piano Concerto. "What a shame it would be to let such a fascinating story just evaporate," I thought. "Somebody ought to record it and put it on paper." And, brazen as it may seem, the only "somebody" that happened to cross my mind at the moment was me.

When I suggested this to Seiji Ozawa, he liked the idea immediately. "Why not?" he said. "I've got plenty of time to spare these days. Let's do it." To have Seiji Ozawa ill with cancer was a heart-wrenching development for the music world, for me personally, and of course for him; but that it gave rise to this time for the two of us to sit and have good, long talks about music may be one of those rare silver linings that are not in fact to be found in every cloud.

As much as I have loved music over the years, I never received a formal musical education, have virtually no technical knowledge of the field, and am a complete layman where most things musical are concerned. During our conversations, some of my comments may have been amateurish or even insulting, but Ozawa is not the sort of pers


Langtext

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.

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