Sunday, May 23, 2010

Reading Music

I asked a friend, who is knowledgeable about music (and who is currently too busy to participate in this project), for some suggestions for music to read WAR AND PEACE to. His response:
Prokofiev wrote a whole opera based on the book, you know? .... [Y]our [other] obvious starting points are Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, which commemorates the Battle of Borodino, which features in the book. Then there is if course Beethoven's Eroica Symphony, which he originally dedicated to Napoleon, but which dedication he later withdrew in disgust when Napoleon crowned himself emperor (much like one of the characters in W&P becomes disillusioned with his former hero [Napoleon]).
I can add that, according to Wikipedia, the song "The Gates of Delirium", by Yes, from the album Relayer, was apparently inspired by W&P.


  1. You know, Mr. Secretary, thanks for the tip. Black Sabbath really wasn't working for me, although I do think it enhanced some of the cannonball scenes.

    No really, it's gotta be classical, of course-- if I were a bigshot director adapting the novel into a film, I'd hire Wendy Carlos to do the soundtrack. Wendy Carlos, as you know, used to be Walter and Walter did the strange moogish Beethoven pieces for Kubrick's Clockwork Orange. But that's just me. I did kind of like what Sophia Coppola did with Marie Antionette, mixing rock into the 18th century as well-- the soundtrack being the best thing of a plotless and rather plodding picture.

    Generally, however, I find a quiet room the ideal atmosphere for reading Tolstoy...

  2. I agree that a quiet room is often best for reading this book. Hotel rooms during work trips are also good. I think an ideal place would be on a slow train across Russia, sipping chilled vodka and eating non-endangered roe. I hope to try that some day.