A deeply personal, intimate conversation about music and writing between the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author and the former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In Absolutely on Music, internationally Haruki Murakami sits down with his friend Seiji Ozawa, the revered former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, for a series of conversations on their shared passion: music. Over the course of two years, Murakami and Ozawa discuss everything from Brahms to Beethoven, from Leonard Bernstein to Glenn Gould, from Bartók to Mahler, and from pop-up orchestras to opera. They listen to and dissect recordings of some of their favorite performances, and Murakami questions Ozawa about his career conducting orchestras around the world. Culminating in Murakami's ten-day visit to the banks of Lake Geneva to observe Ozawa's retreat for young musicians, the book is interspersed with ruminations on record collecting, jazz clubs, orchestra halls, film scores, and much more. A deep reflection on the essential nature of both music and writing, Absolutely on Music is an unprecedented glimpse into the minds of two maestros.
"What most fascinates about Absolutely on Music is how it unlocks the challenging question of what makes for genius in the performance of music. . . . [It is] a book that opens a new side of [Murakami's] authorial persona and that will open doors for people who want to love classical music. It is a quirky, oddly compelling book carried along by the smooth, laid-back rhythms of its relaxing conversations. Reading it, I found myself digging out pieces I hadn't listened to in ages, engaged with a newfound appreciation. . . . Readable, accessible, highly entertaining, educational." -Scott Esposito, San Francisco Chronicle "Fascinating. . . . Ozawa is a beloved figure, known more for his modesty, preparation and smiling-hippie looks than for breaking batons. In Absolutely on Music, he appears in conversation with his countryman, the renowned Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami. Their discussions are prompted by listening to recordings together and range from musical personalities to the nuts and bolts of running an orchestra. Mr. Murakami is a non-musician who is nevertheless quite well-listened. . . . Murakami stays in the background of these conversations, but his preparation and curiosity draw out Mr. Ozawa wonderfully." -The Wall Street Journal "Absolutely on Music is an unprecedented treasure, valuable if for no other reason than that these conversations mark the first time that Ozawa has reflected at length on his 50-plus years of conducting. . . . Talking about music is like dancing about architecture, it's often said, but what joy to watch these two friends dance. . . . One of this book's central pleasures is that of watching a kind of translation at work. With an enthusiast's brio, Murakami sallies forth with his idiosyncratic, often fanciful ideas about Ozawa's music." -The Guardian "Refreshingly honest and enthusiastic, a mental sampler from both the writer and the musician. . . . The subject matter veers and twirls, from the philosophy of education to the phrasing of a specific passage, to the bringing out of an inner voice. And perhaps therein lies the charm of this book-material that only a music wonk could love, some spicy 'Real Housewives of Vienna' type dish, intellectual probing of the most arcane musical subjects, and personal expressions of amazement and sheer joy." -The Buffalo News "Fascinating. . . . Enthralling. . . . What comes through in these conversations is the devotion both men feel for music; the degree to which every detail of a work matters to them; and the strength of their yearning to connect to great symphonies and concertos (and the composers who penned them)."-The Seattle Times "Irresistibly seductive." -Evening Standard "A useful guide [that] is also about the way the concert hall's values of composition and rhythm can apply to any kind of creative life." -A.V. Club "Intriguing insights about the nature of music. . . . Deliberate and contemplative. In some ways, these conversations are High Fidelity for classical music fans." -Publishers Weekly "A strange and delightful book. Murakami and Ozawa sit sipping hot hojicha tea, snacking on persimmons, and discussing in riveting detail works by Mahler, Bartok, Beethoven, Brahms, and many other central figures in the history of Western music. . . . While he defers to Ozawa on technical matters, [Murakami] describes music with rich and suggestive metaphors and images that capture something essential about the spirit of the music." -The Christian Science Monitor "Transcribed from conversations between the phenomenal Japanese author Murakami (who ran a jazz club in his youth) and magician-with-a-baton Seiji Ozawa, whom I remember fondly as conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in my student days long, long ago? I cannot resist. For all your smart readers." -Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal "Engaging. . . . [Murakami's] knowledge of music is beyond impressive, as anyone who has read his novels already knows. He loves jazz
Haruki Murakami, geboren 1949 in Kyoto, die Eltern sind Lehrer für japanische Literatur. Studium der Theaterwissenschaften und des Drehbuchschreibens in Tokyo, aufkeimendes Interesse an amerikanischer Literatur und Musik. 1974 Gründung des Jazzclubs 'Peter Cat', den er bis 1982 betreibt. 1978 erste erfolgreiche Buchveröffentlichung. In den 80er Jahren dauerhaft in Europa ansässig (u.a. in Frankreich, Italien und Griechenland), geht er 1991 in die USA, ehe er 1995 nach Japan zurückkehrt. 2006 erhielt Haruki Murakami den Franz-Kafka-Literaturpreis. 2009 wurde ihm der Jerusalem Prize für sein literarisches Werk verliehen und 2014 wurde Haruki Murakami mit dem "Welt"-Literaturpreis ausgezeichnet. 2015 wurde er für den Hans Christian Andersen Literaturpreis ausgewählt.