For fourteen memorable years Virgil Thomson surveyed the worlds of opera and classical music as the chief music critic for the New York Herald Tribune.
For fourteen memorable years Virgil Thomson surveyed the worlds of opera and classical music as the chief music critic for the New York Herald Tribune. An accomplished composer who knew music from the inside, Thomson communicated its pleasures and complexities to a wide readership in a hugely entertaining, authoritative style, and his daily reviews and Sunday articles set a high-water mark in American cultural journalism. Thomson collected his newspaper columns in four volumes: The Musical Scene, The Art of Judging Music, Music Right and Left, and Music Reviewed. All are gathered here, together with a generous selection of Thomson's uncollected writings. The result is a singular chronicle of that golden era when an unrivaled roster of great conductors (Koussevitzky, Toscanini, Beecham, Stokowski) and legendary performers (Horowitz, Rubenstein, Heifetz, Stern) presented new masters (Copland, Stravinsky, Britten, Bernstein) and re-introduced the classics to a rapt American audience.