Time's Echo

Jeremy Eichler


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7 September 2023
ISBN: 9780571370535
400 pages

From the publisher

'Profoundly moving.' EDMUND DE WAAL
'A work of searching scholarship, acute critical observation, philosophical heft, and deep feeling.' ALEX ROSS
'A rare book: extraordinarily powerful - magisterial, meticulously rich and unexpected, deeply affecting and human.' PHILIPPE SANDS

A remarkable and stirring account of how music acts as a witness to history and a medium of cultural memory in the post-Holocaust world.

When it comes to how societies commemorate their own distant dreams and catastrophes, we often think of books, archives, or memorials carved from stone. But in Time's Echo, Jeremy Eichler makes a revelatory case for the power of music as culture's memory, an art form uniquely capable of carrying forward meaning from the past.

Eichler shows how four towering composers - Richard Strauss, Arnold Schoenberg, Benjamin Britten and Dmitri Shostakovich - lived through the era of the Second World War and the Holocaust and later transformed their experiences into deeply moving works of music, scores that carry forward the echoes of lost time. A lyrical narrative full of insight and compassion, this book deepens how we think about the legacies of war, the presence of the past, and the profound possibilities of art in our lives today.