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Rescued by the Goldberg Variations

14 March 2020

9:00 AM

14 March 2020

9:00 AM

Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning Philip Kennicott

Norton, pp.256, 21

Were this a less good book than it is, it would be called How Bach Can Help You Grieve. As it is, Counterpoint serves very well, describing the American art and architecture critic Philip Kennicott’s intertwined themes: his reaction to the death of his mother, with whom he had a fractious and traumatic relationship, and his attempt to learn Bach’s Goldberg Variations, through which he considers the ability of the greatest music to ease us out of a senseless pit of grief.

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