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The First Four Notes, Guerrieri

The First Four Notes, Guerrieri

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A revelatory book of music history examining perhaps the best known and most-popular symphony every written, known instantly by its famous four-note opening — Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. Reaching back before Beethoven’s time, Matthew Guerrieri uncovers premonitions of the opening notes in the rhythms of ancient Greek poetry and music of the French Revolution. He discusses the Fifth’s impact when it premiered — tracing the artistic, philosophical and political reverberations across Europe to China, Russia and the United States — to its impact today, from ringtones to propaganda and popular music. This fascinating piece of musical detective work is a treat for music lovers of every stripe.

Matthew Guerrieri writes regularly on music for the Boston Globe and NewMusicBox. His articles have also appeared in Vanity Fair, Playbill and Slate. He is responsible for the popular classical music blog Soho the Dog.

Author: Matthew Guerrieri
Format: Paperback, 382 pages
Publisher: Vintage (2014)

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