counterpoint: a memoir of bach and mourning

Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Narrated by Paul Heitsch. I chose to review “Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning” by Philip Kennicott for two reasons. It was the only music that didn't seem trivial or irrelevant, and it enabled … This turned out to be phenomenally good. For children, the discovery of death … I loved every page of this book. *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. $26.95; ebk. The Resource Counterpoint : a memoir of Bach and mourning, Philip Kennicott, (electronic resource eBook) A mostly stellar book, that functions as part memoir, part Bach biography, part music criticism, part reflection on the nature of the more esoteric aspects of music, grief, and art. Resolve captcha to access download link! 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. The subtitle tells us that the two major "melodic lines" are Bach, the great master of counterpoint, specifically his Goldberg Variations, and mourning, specifically for the death of the author's mother. I chose to review “Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning” by Philip Kennicott for two reasons. Sorry, there was a problem saving your cookie preferences. He is also a two-time Pulitzer finalist (for editorial writing in 2000 and criticism in 2012), a former contributing editor to The New Republic, and a regular contributor to Opera News and Gramophone. While exploring Bach's compositions he sketches a cultural history of playing the piano in the twentieth century. After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. (You can judge, I'll get over it.) All the while not making a conclusion about our parents, grief, and making music. It’s hard to imagine he doesn’t have a deeply ambivalent relationship to music too. Norton. He spent the next five years trying to learn one of the composer’s greatest keyboard masterpieces, the. A Pulitzer Prize–winning critic reflects on the meaning and emotional impact of a Bach masterwork. A fantastic book that is well put together. Reviews for Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning In short, this is a beautiful and unexpectedly uplifting read which will have you reaching for both Gould's Goldbergs and the Chaconne, and perhaps even looking at the world with renewed thoughtfulness. Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning, by Philip Kennicott, W.W. Norton & Company, https://wwnorton.com. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published Learn more about Import fee deposit here. For him, Bach's music held the elements of both joy and despair, life and its inevitable end. 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. A beautiful balance between memoir and music writing. 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. This is probably not a book for everyone. (I took the subtitle -- the mourning part -- more seriously than was perhaps warranted...) -- 'Counterpoint' works on a number of different levels (befitting its title! He spent the next five years trying to learn one of the composer's greatest keyboard masterpieces, the Goldberg Variations. A MEMOIR OF BACH AND MOURNING by Philip Kennicott ‧ RELEASE DATE: Feb. 18, 2020 Pulitzer Prize winner Kennicott, senior art and architecture critic of the Washington Post, makes his book debut with an absorbing meditation on grief. Kennicott is the author of Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning (Norton 2020). The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human. Similar books. Punk rock legend, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, award-winning writer, photographer, activist, and all-around Renaissance woman Patti Smith is... As his mother was dying, Philip Kennicott began to listen to the music of Bach obsessively. 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. (I took the subtitle -- the mourning part -- more seriously than was perhaps warranted...) -- 'Counterpoint' works on a number of different levels (befitting its title! 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. A Pulitzer Prize–winning critic reflects on the meaning and emotional impact of a Bach masterwork. Thank you. At points Kennicott describes both life and music in rather technical terms, at other points he infuses anecdotes and insightful turns of phrase. 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. EPUB. I strongly believe it will resonate with a lot more readers than those who care about Bach. I felt poignant delight as I read his honest thoughts about music, practice, struggles, joys, conflicts which were also my own, but which I don't think I ever verbalized even to myself. The subtitle tells us that the two major "melodic lines" are Bach, the great master of counterpoint, specifically his Goldberg Variations, and mourning, specifically for the death of the author's mother. Definitely an insightful read and one worth reading, Gay Men Write About Their Moms (and Death) – a reading list. While exploring Bach’s compositions he sketches a cultural history of playing the piano in the 20th century. Counterpoint is not only an intimate examination of a masterpiece—Bach’s Goldberg Variations —but an unflinching and humane meditation on the lifelong process of growing up. A strange but brilliant melding of memoir and music education, going deep on a troubled mother-son relationship and the son's attempt to try something that's as difficult (playing Bach's Goldberg Variations on the piano) as coming to terms with grief for the person he struggled his whole life to understand. This is a beautifully written book. Many times it made me question my own relationship with classical music as a professional musician. Bach is not a composer I feel the need to listen to on a regular basis. I’ve been in mourning since my husband died in April 2019 and I love baroque music (JS Bach is the master). 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. I won this book in the giveaway. 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. This made me realize that I would like a more in-depth knowledge of classical music, but then didn't quite scratch that itch. It was the only music that didn’t seem trivial or irrelevant, and it enabled him to both experienc… Approved third parties also use these tools in connection with our display of ads. Counterpoint is a thought-provoking and accomplished memoir, meeting Kennicott's own criterion that "every good book or great piece of music carries … Welcome back. 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. 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. 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. To see what your friends thought of this book. Kennicott creates a most unusual book about Bach and grief (surrounding his mother’s life. Wrought with gut-wrenching cynicism and probing questions about why and how we grieve, this book shaped my outlook on life during the pandemic. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. In the now popular genre of grief memoir as woven through a single work of art (usually a work of literature, for example All the Lives we Ever Lived), this one is the best I've read. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. “The older we get, the more subtly we must undertake the double exercise of shedding aspects of ourselves so that we have the capacity to develop new ones.”, Patti Smith Talks About Creativity and the Stories that Take Root. It's particularly impressive because it's an homage to a difficult mother, with whom the writer had a difficult relationship. As his mother was dying, Philip Kennicott began to listen to the music of Bach obsessively. Kennicott's journey in learning Bach's Goldberg Variations resonated less with me, but was still enjoyable to read. 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. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. I found this memoir sometimes insightful and other times scattered. More generally, the flow sometimes seemed to get distracted from the main quandry of what it means. 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. But Counterpoint can be painful to read because the author’s mother was extremely abusive to him, both emotionally and physically. Download to App. I found the book, on the whole, to be insightful, moving, and beautifully written. The author is a gifted writer. I was reminded of Jackson Brown's lyrics for "To a Dancer," that go "In the end there is one dance you do alone." A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2020 A Pulitzer Prize–winning critic reflects on the meaning and emotional impact of a Bach masterwork. The content about the author's family was so enjoyable and interesting but ultimately only tenuously connected to the rest of the content. In Counterpoint, he recounts his efforts to rise to the challenge, and to fight through his grief by coming to terms with memories of a difficult, complicated childhood. Start by marking “Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning” as Want to Read: Error rating book. — Tim Page, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California And, perhaps more significantly, How is it ever possible to know another human being? 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. Prime members enjoy fast & free shipping, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video and many more exclusive benefits. For him, Bach’s music held the elements of both joy and despair, life and its inevitable end. 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. Refresh and try again. 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. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. This book deserves to be widely read. 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. Given that the author is not a professional. Download Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning. I’ve been in mourning since my husband died in April 2019 and I love baroque music (JS Bach is the master). I strongly believe it will resonate with a lot more readers than those who care about Bach. After his mother died, the author began to learn Bach's Goldberg Variations in seriousness. The author is a gifted writer. Philip Kennicott is the chief Art and Architecture Critic of The Washington Post. As Kennicott recovered from losing his mother he resolved to learn one of Bach’s most … All the while not making a conclusion about our parents, grief, and making music. Lots of little biographical tidbits about Bach, Gould, and other music histories that keep a nice balance. 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. I liked the mix of memoir and biography/history, and it was fun to listen to the Bach pieces while/after reading about them. Music intertwines all aspects of life, and the author does a good job of showing how that works. I was reminded of Jackson Brown's lyrics for "To a Dancer," that go "In the end there is one dance you do alone." Philip Kennicott is the chief Art and Architecture Critic of The Washington Post. © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Philip Kennicott, author of Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning, is the Pulitzer Prize-winning Senior Art and Architecture Critic of The Washington Post. His mother certainly was. His complicated relationship with his mother is part of his story, and it is her decline and death that causes him to do a deep-dive into the music of J.S. As his mother was dying, Philip Kennicott began to listen to the music of Bach obsessively. In Counterpoint, he recounts his efforts to rise to the challenge, and to fight through his grief by coming to terms with his memories of a difficult, complicated childhood. Unable to add item to List. His complicated relationship with his mother is part of his story, and it is her decline and death that causes him to do a deep-dive into the music of J.S. ): 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? Because the author ’ s hard to imagine he doesn ’ t know where the author does a good,. Great read may ask, which draws the reader 's music held the elements of both joy despair. Have helped the book, on the whole, to counterpoint: a memoir of bach and mourning transparent with the into. And Bach you keep track of books you want to read for me, then. Job of showing how that works two reasons what, children always seem to love parents... 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