Skip to content

Time's Echo

The Second World War, The Holocaust, and The Music of Remembrance

Jeremy Eichler

A stirring account of how music acts as a witness to history and a medium of cultural memory in the post-Holocaust world.

When it comes to how societies commemorate their own distant dreams and catastrophes, we often think of books, archives, or memorials carved from stone. But in Time’s Echo, Jeremy Eichler makes a revelatory case for the power of music as culture’s memory, an art form uniquely capable of carrying forward meaning from the past.

Eichler shows how four towering composers - Richard Strauss, Arnold Schoenberg, Benjamin Britten and Dmitri Shostakovich - lived through the era of the Second World War and the Holocaust and later transformed their experiences into deeply moving works of music, scores that carry forward the echoes of lost time. A lyrical narrative full of insight and compassion, this book deepens how we think about the legacies of war, the presence of the past, and the profound possibilities of art in our lives today.

First published:
September 2023
Published by:
Faber & Faber
Hardcover 400 pages
What the judges said

"Jeremy Eichler proves himself to be an effective populariser of some quite forbidding music, helping us to understand it by rooting it in the history that made it"

Time's Echo book trailer

About the author

An award-winning critic and cultural historian, Jeremy Eichler has written for the New York Times, the New Yorker and the Boston Globe, where he serves as chief classical music critic. His work has been recognised with grant awards from Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute and the National Endowment for the Humanities.