Alex Ross’s library includes scores, writings by composers—and thirteen recordings of Salome.
If Alex Ross could get his hands on a time machine, he knows exactly where he’d go: 1920s Berlin. “Such an incredible period,” he says. “There was just so much going on.” He’d check out the Berlin Festival of 1929, featuring Wilhelm Furtwängler and Richard Strauss conducting, a gala performance with Toscanini at the baton, and Stravinsky at the piano playing his own work. He’d see Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes on tour, Otto Klemperer presenting new music by Hindemith, and Bruno Walter conducting Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. There’s just one precaution he’d take, he says, in light of the events that would envelop Germany in the following decade: “I’d make sure that my time machine had the return function working correctly so I could get out of there.”
Fantasies aside, it’s nice to have Ross safely ensconced in
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