PERFORMING ARTS

The Way of Bach: Three Years with the Man, the Music, and the Piano

Pegasus. Dec. 2020. 240p. ISBN 9781643135809. $27.95. MUSIC
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“I began to study Bach on the piano because I wanted to participate in the greatness of it, to become part of the music itself.” And so Moller (philosophy, Univ. of Maryland) began the personal journey recounted here, one that he hopes might inspire the reader to embark on a similar quest and consider why Johann Sebastian Bach’s music continues to resonate and what we can learn from it. He doesn’t try to teach us how to play Bach’s music; his aim is to share “the felt experience of an adult learning Bach.” Moller does this through recollections of and reflections on his own experience at the keyboard and draws upon his own study of Bach’s life and work, all with wit, humor, and absolutely no pedantry. Readers will appreciate the glossary of musical terms, a works cited list, and a playlist of the music referred to in the text (at danmoller.org).
VERDICT For the serious music lover and anyone seeking answers to some essential questions about art and music.
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