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Book Cover for: Bach's Architecture of Gratitude: On the Genius of the Mass in B Minor, James Crooks

Bach's Architecture of Gratitude: On the Genius of the Mass in B Minor

James Crooks

Every lover of music finds themselves, at privileged moments, in ecstasy - certain that what they are hearing has captured, somehow, an incontrovertible truth. In Bach's Architecture of Gratitude James Crooks explores this profound aesthetic experience in a case study of J.S. Bach's Mass in B Minor - widely considered among the greatest works of the western choral canon. The book begins with an investigation of compositional principles - of what we might call the mass's musical architecture. Crooks argues that in its cathedral-like structure, Bach gives us a detailed map of the spiritual journey it triggers. This journey culminates in our apprehension of the world as a gift. And that means, in turn, that the mode of knowing appropriate to its musical ecstasy is gratitude. In the gratitude of aesthetic experience, we learn something crucial about the genuine nature of our own identity, our relations with others, and the character of the things around us. Bach's genius lies in his capacity to frame these lessons in the mass's choruses, solos, and duets. Spotlighting the wisdom embedded in gratitude, Bach's Architecture of Gratitude celebrates music as a pathway to understanding our deepest selves and our intimacy with the world.

Book Details

  • Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
  • Publish Date: May 14th, 2024
  • Pages: 210
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9780228020622
  • Categories: Genres & Styles - ClassicalPhilosophy & Social Aspects

About the Author

James Crooks is professor of philosophy at Bishop's University and director emeritus of the Bishop's University Singers.

Praise for this book

"Jamie Crooks finds and creates ways for understanding the immensity of Bach's compositional achievement, most significantly in the Mass in B Minor, specifically as experienced in the act of performance (both for listener and the performer). Readers will find this book refreshing for the sheer enthusiasm of the author, an antidote to the tendency to relativize achievements in canonic works of art." John Butt, musical director of the Dunedin Consort and Gardiner Professor of Music, University of Glasgow