Philip Kennicott’s insight into the way music speaks to us as we wend our way toward inevitable death makes this book an unforgettable triumph.

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Review of ‘Counterpoint’

When his mother was dying, critic Philip Kennicott drew comfort from repeatedly listening to Bach’s “Chaconne,” a violin solo. The “condensed and obsessive” feeling of the Chaconne complemented his feelings of fear and claustrophobia. After his mother passed, Kennicott put the recording away. But the experience stirred him to return to another canonical work by…

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