In the August 13 Economist, a review of the re-release of Richard Taruskin’s five-volume Oxford History of Western Music states, “Since its initial publication at the end of 2004, Mr. Taruskin’s five-volume survey of 1,200 years of musical tradition has come in for many criticisms—selectivity, subjectivity, riding roughshod over contemporary intellectual orthodoxy—but prolixity and over-comprehensiveness have not been among them. If the original publication of Mr. Taruskin’s history sent shock waves through the academic musical world, the present reissue of the set in paperback is, if anything, a more momentous event. For the work, marvelously awash with judicious reflection on the latest scholarship through it is, is not really aimed at professional scholars. Rather, its greatest value comes in bringing the fruits of advanced scholarship to a general readership through a compelling, easy-to-read narrative. … The new edition is not only much cheaper but its individual volumes are packaged in a way that allows them to be bought separately. The book excels …” The entire article may be found at http://www.economist.com/books/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14209522 but requires a subscription login for access.
Posted August 17, 2009