Mark Berry is a reader in music history at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of Treacherous Bonds and Laughing Fire: Politics and Religion in Wagner's Ring and After Wagner: Histories of Modernist Music Drama from Parsifal to Nono. He also regularly reviews concert and opera performances for his popular blog, Boulezian.
Though Schoenberg's music maintains its reputation in his native Austria and to a lesser degree elsewhere in Europe, in North America his name has fallen out of the constellation of musical luminaries. Berry's succinct biography and critical overview will serve to remedy that in part. Berry seizes on both the technical features of Schoenberg's remarkable music and the remarkable cultural context in which it developed. And he does so in an eminently readable style (only minimal appeal is made to musical technicalities such as sonata-allegro form). Thus lay readers should be able to make their way through the book without difficulty. . . . The book includes an excellent select discography with brief annotations and a very select bibliography. Recommended. http: //choiceconnect.org/webclipping/216600/tt7c0cx7acgpqn46gy_refmtp-e8ckgw5by2dkvem3t4dlxk-w--Choice A superb piece of writing: informative, engaging, and compact. It wears its considerable research with a winning lightness of touch. The best introduction to the composer. --Thomas Hyde, composer and lecturer in music at Worcester College, University of Oxford