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Can there be such a thing as music criticism?

John Deathridge, 20 February 1986

Music and Civilisation: Essays in Honour of Paul Henry Lang 
edited by Edmond Strainchamps, Maria Rika Maniates and Christopher Hatch.
Norton, 499 pp., £35, March 1985, 0 393 01677 3
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The Farthest North of Humanness: Letters of Percy Grainger 1901-1914 
edited by Kay Dreyfus.
Macmillan, 542 pp., £25, December 1985, 0 333 38085 1
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Musicology 
by Joseph Kerman.
Collins/Fontana, 255 pp., £10.95, March 1985, 0 00 197170 0
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... rejected on ethical grounds. The collection starts well, with a scrupulous examination by Christoph Wolff of Mozart’s arrangement of Handel’s Messiah, which was highly respected until the advent of the historical performance movement tarnished its reputation for good. Wolff reflects on the spiritual link ...

Cosmic Ambition

Edward Said: J.S. Bach, 19 July 2001

Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician 
by Christoph Wolff.
Oxford, 599 pp., £25, March 2000, 9780198165347
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... Yet even this enormous quantity of work is not the totality of Bach’s output. According to Christoph Wolff, his most recent and thorough biographer, at least half of Bach’s church oeuvre has been lost, along with many instrumental and ensemble pieces. The sheer density and quality of what remains is all the more staggering. Like Handel, his ...

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