Book cover of ‘Vaughan Williams’

Vaughan Williams
by Eric Saylor, OUP £29.60

To mark the 150th anniversary of Vaughan Williams’s birth, here is a new biography in the “Master Musicians” series. Drawing on recent research, including newly accessible correspondence, Eric Saylor tells the parallel stories of the long life and wide-ranging music of this quintessentially English composer, who was still writing symphonies into his eighties.

Book cover of ‘House Concert’

House Concert
by Igor Levit and Florian Zinnecker, Polity Press £20

When live music fell silent during the pandemic, Igor Levit launched his “house concerts”, online recitals from his home that drew 300,000 listeners. A chatty mix of biography, diary and interview follows this uncompromising pianist through those years, as he ponders anti-Semitism, refugees, freedom, the European Union, and much, much music.

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Book cover of ‘Sound Within Sound’

Sound Within Sound: Opening Our Ears to the 20th Century
by Kate Molleson, Faber £18.99

Kate Molleson says she wrote this book “out of love and anger”. Her alternative history of 20th-century music profiles 10 fascinating composers who are usually neglected, such as Julián Carrillo, Mexican champion of microtones, Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou, interviewed at 93 in a monastery in Jerusalem, and “master of transience” Éliane Radigue.

Books of the Year 2022

All this week, FT writers and critics share their favourites. Some highlights are:

Monday: Business by Andrew Hill
Tuesday: Environment by Pilita Clark
Wednesday: Economics by Martin Wolf
Thursday: Fiction by Laura Battle
Friday: Politics by Gideon Rachman
Saturday: Critics’ choice

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