Book review – 20th-century music history

Religion provides the rhythm

Music is an art of time: songs play to a rhythm, giving shape to the seconds as they pass, charging the present with a pulse we can feel. But as music takes us forward through time it also takes us back – to the moment of its composition or recording; to a particularly resonant time in our own past; and yet further, summoning the echoes of older music contained within a song. In new books by David Remnick and Michel Faber we get two different approaches to writing about something ephemeral yet emotionally adhesive. One of them made time fly, and one of them made time slow until the only