Thursday, May 21, 2015
Masterpieces of the British Museum by The British Museum
Book 32, Masterpieces of the British Museum, was a bit like the actual museum. It covers a huge area of human knowledge and history right across the world, and is presented in an order which is hard to fathom.
A lot of the "masterpieces" in the book are not works of art, some are everyday objects from different historical periods. Others are pure art with no purpose whatsoever. There's no real connection between any of the objects other than they are in the museum. Some are undoubtedly important historical objects, others are works of art by major artists, others still are archeological artifacts which have been pulled out the ground. There is no rhyme and reason to it all, but most of it is vaguely interesting, and there are undoubtedly some pieces in the museum which are of major historical important like the Rosetta Stone. All in all though it's a bit of a jumble and I award Masterpieces of the British Museum 4 out of 10.
That's the end of the Art section of the library, and I now move on to Music, a more comfortable area for me. There was a book I had already read on this bookcase: Last train to Memphis by Peter Guralnick about Elvis (highly recommended along with its sequel), but in the end I picked The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824 by Harvey Sachs.
I have read quite a few books about the great composers, I am not sure I have read a whole book before about Beethoven, I certainly have read works about lots of his contemporaries though like Mozart, Haydn and Schubert. Hopefully this one will fill in a few gaps about someone who completely changed the whole face of music with one work, which is the area that this book concentrates on.