Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Symphony: Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall Hardcover – November 11, 2003
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Frank Gehry has called Walt Disney Concert Hall a "living room" for the city of Los Angeles. Opened in Fall 2003 to rapturous praise, the hall beckons all comers with a billowing steel facade gleaming in the sunlight. Nearly 100 stunning color photographs and four concise, engaging essays by notable, mostly L.A.-based contributors make Symphony: Frank Gehrys Walt Disney Concert Hall the ideal overview of this major civic and cultural landmark. Significant architectural, acoustical, urban design and civic leadership angles are all covered, including the checkered history of the project, stalled for years due to a ballooning budget, a complex decision-making process and a misguided attempt to relegate Gehry to a consulting role. In the end, as Michael Webb points out, the lag time proved valuable to Gehry, coinciding with his mastery of a new architectural language that he first explored in the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. The book is full of intriguing details. For example, the acoustical scheme developed by Dr. Minoru Nagata relies in part on a surprising discovery he made-that the quality of sound in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, long attributed to the resonant wood walls, was really due to the four inches of plaster underneath. The most ambitious chapter is Carol McMichael Reese's discussion of the hall's role in the long-term rehabilitation of downtown Los Angeles. For all its scrupulous detail and balanced assessments, however, she fails to give an eye-level view of the gritty texture of downtown Los Angeles and how alien it still is to the average symphony patron. The book concludes with an essay by Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, who notes the appropriateness of visionary design to the modern symphonic repertoire he champions. Cathy Curtis
About the Author
Esa-Pekka Salonen is music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Beautifully illustrated, this takes us from the origin of Gehry's idea, the various sketches, renderings and models, the ground breaking ceremonies, then the gradual rising of the skeleton of the support system to the wrapping of the sculpture in various glazes of steel and glass, to the finished product. Each stage is extraordinary, mesmerizing, detailed and edifying.
Accompanying the work in progress are essays and commentary by acoustician Minoru Nagata, urban specialist Carol McMichael Reese, Frank Gehry, Deborah Borda and Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen and enhance the majestic photography by Grant Mudford.
But as with all descriptive books, all written and photographic comments, the truth is in the final result: the quality of sound and spiritual experience of live orchestral and choral music in the hall is paramount. And it is now, after two seasons and beginning its third that the proof is in the hearing. This is one of the most acoustically perfect places to experience music in the world. Composers (including Salonen in 'Wing on Wing') continue to be inspired to write commissioned works that reveal ever more extensive attributes of the space. The third season opened with Magnus Lindberg's 'Sculpture - The LA Project', a work for huge orchestra minus first violins but including two pianos, the great organ, extensive percussion section, and expanded deep voices in all the sections, and the effect was dazzling.
This book is a must for music lovers, architecture admirers, and for both those who are still wondering how this miracle happened as well as those planning to visit Los Angeles to hear and see for themselves. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, October 05