"Robert Reilly is at all times attuned to a composer's spiritual inner strength but balanced by a vital and original intellectual stamina. He is a pleasure to read and a treasure to cherish."
-- David Diamond, Composer
"Reilly's vision of music is profoundly spiritual, expressive of what is best and most enriching in human life, and having the possibility of leading us to encounter God Himself."
-- Stephen Hough, Composer and Pianist
"Reilly is a critic with open ears and a disciplined mind that helps him to understand and explain the larger significance of what he's hearing."--Terry Teachout, Music Critic, Commentary
"Thanks to Robert Reilly for his clear and unequivocal chronicling of the recovery of the truth of music's deepest connection with that which is numinous and, indeed, sacred."
-- Samuel Jones, Composer
"Reilly brings his impressive knowledge of music to bear on the most human of our experiences with a refreshing clarity and personal directness. More than anything else, Surprised by Beauty makes us glad."
-- Peter Kalkavage, Modern Age
"It is rare that one can offer such unbounded enthusiasm for a book about modern music, yet I can confidently state that this book is a joy for both layman and music expert alike. Surprised by Beauty provides a valuable and illuminating perspective, all while providing the surprise promised in the title."--Mark Nowakowski, Foundation for the Sacred Arts
"Reilly is very good in talking about the philosophy and history of music, and the importance of modern music, especially sacred music, but also its beauty. It is this beauty that Reilly makes every effort in this excellent book to teach us how to find."
-- James V. Schall, S.J., Georgetown University
"This book is a work of love. Every page is filled with longing for beauty, yearning for the transcendent to be made perceptible. Reilly is a faithful guide and will lead many of his readers to musical beauty where they did not expect to find it."
-- Christopher Flannery, Claremont Review of Books
"Robert Reilly has done music lovers a service by reminding us that 'modern music' and 'beauty' are not always enemies."--Lee Bockhorn, Weekly Standard --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Robert R. Reilly was the music critic for Crisis magazine for 16 years, and reviews concerts and operas for Ionarts. He has written for High Fidelity, Musical America, Schwann/Opus, and the American Record Guide. In his 25 years in government, he served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the White House under President Ronald Reagan, and the U. S. Information Agency. He was also the director of Voice of America. He has published widely on foreign policy, "war of ideas" issues, and classical music. He is the author of The Closing of the Muslim Mind and other books.
Jens F. Laurson writes an online classical music column for Forbes and contributes to Listen magazine. His writing has won the Deems Taylor Award granted by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.