Philip Kennicott, author of Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning (Norton)

“An absorbing meditation on grief….Elegant prose graces a deeply thoughtful memoir.”

Kirkus (starred review)

“An approachable, uniquely thoughtful rumination on a range of musical topics, from the unrelenting demands of musical practice and performance to the mysterious and fraught dynamic between parent and child….Recommended for anyone with an ear for classical music and an interest in biography.”

Booklist (starred review)

“A story as complex and poignant as the great musical work at its heart, Bach’s Goldberg Variations.”

Paul Kildea, author of Chopin’s Piano

“A wise, haunted, and beautiful book. I found myself reading paragraph after paragraph aloud, marveling at Kennicott’s ability to create a full musical resonance with his words alone. 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.”

“An absorbing meditation on grief….Elegant prose graces a deeply thoughtful memoir.”

Kirkus (starred review)

“An approachable, uniquely thoughtful rumination on a range of musical topics, from the unrelenting demands of musical practice and performance to the mysterious and fraught dynamic between parent and child….Recommended for anyone with an ear for classical music and an interest in biography.”

Booklist (starred review)

“A story as complex and poignant as the great musical work at its heart, Bach’s Goldberg Variations.”

Paul Kildea, author of Chopin’s Piano

“A wise, haunted, and beautiful book. I found myself reading paragraph after paragraph aloud, marveling at Kennicott’s ability to create a full musical resonance with his words alone. 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.”

Tim Page, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California

What does it mean to know a piece of music? What does it mean to know another human being? In COUNTERPOINT: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning [W. W. Norton & Company; February 18, 2020; $26.95 hardcover], Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Philip Kennicott reflects on these questions through a richly expansive exploration of a Bach masterwork.