Ned Rorem explores the state of contemporary classical music in a magnificent collection of personally selected essays and critiques of masterworks, lesser works, and their legendary creators
Pulitzer Prize–winner Ned Rorem’s musical compositions are considered some of the finest produced in the past century. His literary works have been hailed as “scintillating” (Time magazine) and “extraordinary” (The Washington Post). Rorem’s remarkable twin talents are brilliantly intertwined in Settling the Score, a masterful collection of essays on music, composers, and the state of the art. Selected by Rorem himself, these enthralling and provocative pieces examine the works of the great and (in the author’s lively, unabashed opinion) the not-so-great masters of twentieth-century classical music—Debussy, Ravel, Copland, Gershwin, Barber, Cage, Bernstein, Britten, Stravinsky, and others. With keen precision, he dissects the so-called serious music of our time while predicting where the form is bound in the future. Never lacking in intelligence or wit, each essay in Settling the Score sings in a voice that is clear and true.