Murakami on music – an absolute disaster

Haruki Murakami: Absolutely on Music. Conversations with Seiji Ozawa. ISBN 978-0-385-35434-9 ⭐️ A renown Japanese writer, passionate about classical music and jazz, speaks with a renown Japanese conductor about music – that sounded like a real treat. But the book is an absolute disaster. None of the two has anything meaningful to say. The obvious is abundant, the interesting rare, the language boring. Whenever an interesting subject arises, the two drop the matter and Murakami indicates what type of tea they are drinking. Murakami brings up an observation of his and Ozawa agrees. Or doesn’t know. Ozawa indulges in 50 year old souvenirs, but he offers no insight in the way he re-interprets a piece of, let’s say, Beethoven and he keeps quiet on the emotions it sets free. Murakami had better not published this book in this form. It’s a disgrace for such a good writer. And a good writer is not necessarily a good interviewer.

The book’s only merit is that it strenghtened my resolve to listen to Gustav Mahler’s music more regularly. There is another world of sound and thought to discover there, like Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 in D major, a hugely impressive work.