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On Music: Essays and Diversions
Robin Holloway's Collected Essays: 1963 - 2003
ISBN 1-870626-74-5

pp. 480
UK £: £30.00
Claridge Press 2003

The composer Robin Holloway has established himself as one of the most penetrating music critics of our day, whose trenchant style and impassioned thinking guide us not only through the works of his contemporaries, but also through the great masterpieces of Western Music.

This remarkable collection of essays contains some of the most exciting and original analysis of the Wagner operas available in print.

Photo: Hanya Chlala, ArenaPal

It also brings us sustained, meditative and illuminating accounts both of the masterpieces of the romantic era, and of the classical tradition from which they derive. Whether you are convinced by him or provoked by him, Robin Holloway will persuade you that music matters, that there is a real difference between good and bad, great and trivial, sincere and sentimental, and that our enjoyment can only be enhanced by the habit of critical study.

Robin Holloway is well known as a versatile and lyrical composer, who has written many chamber, orchestral and vocal works and a full scale opera — Clarissa, based on the novel by Samuel Richardson — which ran successfully at the English National Opera. His music has been warmly received for its melodic inventiveness, its delicacy and its deft synthesis of modernist and tonal languages. He is also a critic and teacher, whose ground-breaking study of Debussy and Wagner has been widely praised for its insights into Debussy's harmonic language.

On Music: Essays and Diversions is published to coincide with the premiere of Spring Music at the Wigmore Hall and concerts at the Royal Festival Hall in London and the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester which mark his 60th birthday. These essays are the deeply felt outpourings of a creative sensibility, for whom music is not a pastime, but a way of life.



We are grateful to Claridge Press for their permission to use text and graphical images from Robin Holloway's book On Music: Essays and Diversions in this website.