I don't know if you have to have played Bach in your youth to appreciate it, as one who did play and misses it, his exigeses are wonderful. Definitely an insightful read and one worth reading, Gay Men Write About Their Moms (and Death) – a reading list. Not just for classical music nerds but being a bit nerdish won't hurt. This article was adapted from his new book, “Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning” (Norton, February 2020). A fantastic book that is well put together. I have a lot in common with this author in regards to grief, a toxic parent, and a life long love of music. Conditions apply. Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for Counterpoint : A Memoir of Bach and Mourning by Philip Kennicott (2020, Hardcover) at the best online prices at … Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning, Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK, Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost, Dispatch to this address when you check out. Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning ; About; Explore; About. He spent the next five years trying to learn one of the composer’s greatest keyboard masterpieces, the. It was a rare and exceptional pleasure for me to discover that there is another suffering soul with thoughts, feelings and experiences (especially in childhood and early adulthood) that parallel mine. I liked the mix of memoir and biography/history, and it was fun to listen to the Bach pieces while/after reading about them. -- Recommended...with caution. ): it is a memoir of the author's complicated relationship with his mother, a tracing of his interactions with Johann Sebastian Bach's 'Goldberg Variations,' a set of b. ISBN 9780393635362. The information and commentary on Bach does not add to whatever one can find in a music history book and the part about the family is personal, with maybe a glimpse of mid century suburban America making it engaging and informative. EPUB. Kennicott's journey in learning Bach's Goldberg Variations resonated less with me, but was still enjoyable to read. (I took the subtitle -- the mourning part -- more seriously than was perhaps warranted...) -- 'Counterpoint' works on a number of different levels (befitting its title! Philip Kennicott is the chief … Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published In Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Philip Kennicott reflects on these questions through a richly expansive exploration of a Bach masterwork. Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning Philip Kennicott. Refresh and try again. This made me realize that I would like a more in-depth knowledge of classical music, but then didn't quite scratch that itch. EPUB. Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning. Buy Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning by Philip Kennicott (ISBN: 9780393635362) from Amazon's Book Store. This is a beautifully written book. We use cookies and similar tools to enhance your shopping experience, to provide our services, understand how customers use our services so we can make improvements, and display ads. The author is not a professional musician but a dedicated amateur who has spent much of his life studying piano or trying to overcome the mental obstacles that kept him from growth. More generally, the flow sometimes seemed to get distracted from the main quandry of what it means to know a piece of music. As the Midwestern fall turned into a frigid, icy winter, I listened to Glenn Gould playing Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” and read Philip Kennicott’s Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning.Alternating between listening and reading, I found myself overwhelmed by emotion and flooded with the desire to do something. I highly recommend it. We’d love your help. It's not that it isn't interesting, but I'm not sure how much I'll be able to take out of it. The author is a gifted writer. Despite its appearance, this is no self- help book nor an endeavour by a busy journalist to conquer the classical piano repertory, in the manner of Alan Rusbridger’s struggle with Chopin in Play It Again (Jonathan Cape, 2013). Definitely an insightful read and o, I have a lot in common with this author in regards to grief, a toxic parent, and a life long love of music. And he raises two questions that become increasingly interrelated, not unlike a contrapuntal passage in one of the variations itself: What does it mean to know a piece of music? So, you may ask, which audiences will the book resonate with? 224p. It was a rare and exceptional pleasure for me to discover that there is another suffering soul with thoughts, feelings and experiences (especially in childhood and early adulthood) that parallel mine. $26.95; ebk. Given that the author is not a professional. Many of his reflections were clearly the extension of a well examined inner life, which draws the reader into much of the same. Please try again. By Philip Kennicott. ): it is a memoir of the author's complicated relationship with his mother, a tracing of his interactions with Johann Sebastian Bach's 'Goldberg Variations,' a set of biographical musings on the life of Bach, and, ultimately, a search for an answer to two questions: What do we mean when we say we 'know' a piece of music? Feb. 2020. No matter what, children always seem to love abusive parents. Save for Later Save Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning For Later. At points Kennicott describes both life and music in rather technical terms, at other points he infuses anecdotes and insightful turns of phrase. Download Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning. Ratings: Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (3 ratings) Length: 8 hours. But of course he had a deeply ambivalent relationship with his mother. Learn more about Import fee deposit here. Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning. Beautiful, upsetting, redemptive, informative -- written with such care. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. Bach's Musical Universe: The Composer and His Work, Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music, Music in the Castle of Heaven: A Portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach, Bach and the Meanings of Counterpoint: 10 (New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism, Series Number 10). Reading this I don’t know if my description can really describe how meaningful and beautifully written this memoir is, but I can not recommend it enough. But I laughed out loud at the episode -- toward the end of the book -- involving eggplant parmigiana. Beautifully written, informative, honest and very very moving. The author is a gifted writer. What does it mean to know another human being? Once she yanked his hair so hard that he fell backwards off of the piano bench onto the floor. For him, Bach’s music held the elements of both joy and despair, life and its inevitable end. I’ve been in mourning since my husband died in April 2019 and I love baroque music (JS Bach is the master). It was the only music that didn’t seem trivial or irrelevant, and it enabled him to both experience her death and remove himself from it. The many people out there who have had a complicated relationship with their unhappy, complex mother nursing stifled hopes and increasing resentment for her child while they were growing up. I read a preview excerpt in the Washington Post shortly after my father died, so I took it as a sign that I should read this book. A memoir of Bach in terms of the author’s efforts to be able to play Bach’s Goldberg Variations, a memoir of mourning in the sense of his grief over the loss of his mother. Evidently she had a deep and powerful connection to music as he does, but she also attacked him in vicious unpredictable ways, at times when he was practicing the piano. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Either is a conservative estimate. Unfortunately, this book gets a lower rating from me, not solely on its merits (it's a rather good book, actually), but based on my expectations in approaching it. Unable to add item to List. Any musician who has ever experienced loss should pick this book up. And, perhaps more significantly, How is it ever possible to know another human being? He describes the joys of mastering some of the piano pieces, the frustrations that plague his understanding of others, the technical challenges they pose, and the surpassing beauty of the melodies, harmonies, and counterpoint that distinguish them. Welcome back. Approved third parties also use these tools in connection with our display of ads. In some ways, my father had a similar temperament to Kennicott's mother in that his moods could be unpredictable at times, so the author's recounting of his relationship with his mother and about her death hit me a little harder than I had expected. After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. Definitely good, interesting on mourning and family histories and Bach. In his, I recognized my own troubled relationship with my mother which was directly related to my own troubled relationship with the piano, but also to the joys and love of music and piano we both shared. As someone who knows almost nothing about the science of music there were parts of this that were hard to read, but as someone who was invested in completing this book, I nonetheless found the extended metaphors appropriate/understandable for the music philistine audience. Every student who sweated at the piano keys will relate to the shared experience of failure, fake starts, false expectations, futility, bitterness and will appreciate the sincerity in writing about such a delicate subject as reaching a limit. Which is a good thing, because there are no answers, only experiences. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more. The author is a gifted writer. I felt compelled to write a review not only because I loved it, but because I suspect the title may give the erroneous impression that the book is only for music lovers. Something went wrong. I felt compelled to write a review not only because I loved it, but because I suspect the title may give the erroneous impression that the book is only for music lovers. More generally, the flow sometimes seemed to get distracted from the main quandry of what it means. I won this book in the giveaway. Prime members enjoy fast & free shipping, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video and many more exclusive benefits. It was the only music that didn’t seem trivial or irrelevant, and it enabled him to both experience her death and remove himself from it. I chose to review “Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning” by Philip Kennicott for two reasons. (You can judge, I'll get over it.) A good read overall. *Counterpoint* is an aptly titled book -- Philip Kennicott's memoir weaves together narrative strands, much as a contrapuntal piece of music weaves together melodic strands within a piece. Given that the author is not a professional musician but is a serious hobbyist, I valued the perspective in describing the life and music of Bach with his own experiences. I chose to review “Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning” by Philip Kennicott for two reasons. All the while not making a conclusion about our parents, grief, and making music. See, I've just expanded the market for Kennicott's memoir about ten thousand fold, or shall we say one hundred thousand? As in, “I love her/ I hate her”. Music. It jumps between the author's life, Bach's life, and musical analysis, the last of which can be difficult to follow for someone who isn't classically trained. It uses Kennicott's Sisyphian process of learning Bach's, In many ways this book is quite good; there are moments when the author expresses his grief about losing his mother in ways which are both beautiful and profound. So, you may. After his mother died, the author began to learn Bach's Goldberg Variations in seriousness. Philip Kennicott, author of Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning (Norton), is the Pulitzer Prize-winning Senior Art and Architecture Critic of The Washington Post. Unfortunately, this book gets a lower rating from me, not solely on its merits (it's a rather good book, actually), but based on my expectations in approaching it. A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2020 A Pulitzer Prize–winning critic reflects on the meaning and emotional impact of a Bach masterwork. He spent the next five years trying to learn one of, As his mother was dying, Philip Kennicott began to listen to the music of Bach obsessively. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. And Brahms, and Dvorak, and Shostakovich. As Kennicott recovered from losing his mother he resolved to learn one of Bach’s most … I strongly believe it will resonate with a lot more readers than those who care about Bach. Philip Kennicott, the senior art and architecture Critic of the Washington Post and a former contributing editor for the New Republic, won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2013. Counterpoint is, as stated on the cover, a memoir of Bach and mourning. I'm still working on processing my feelings about death and loss. 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