A Pulitzer Prize–successful critic displays at the which means and emotional have an effect on of a Bach masterwork.

As his mom used to be loss of life, Philip Kennicott started to hear the song of Bach obsessively. It used to be the one song that didn’t appear trivial or beside the point, and it enabled him to each revel in her dying and do away with himself from it. For him, Bach’s song held the weather of each pleasure and melancholy, lifestyles and its inevitable finish. He spent the following 5 years attempting to be informed probably the most composer’s biggest keyboard masterpieces, the Goldberg Variations. In Counterpoint, he recounts his efforts to upward thrust to the problem, and to combat via his grief through coming to phrases together with his recollections of a troublesome, difficult formative years.

He describes the thrill of getting to know probably the most piano items, the frustrations that plague his figuring out of others, the technical demanding situations they pose, and the surpassing great thing about the melodies, harmonies, and counterpoint that distinguish them. At the same time as exploring Bach’s compositions he sketches a cultural historical past of enjoying the piano within the 20th century. And he increases questions that turn into increasingly more interrelated, no longer not like a contrapuntal passage in probably the most diversifications itself: What does it imply to understand a work of song? What does it imply to understand every other individual?