A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR
‘A masterpiece’ SCOTSMAN
‘A wise, refreshing novel … Runcie has an expert imagination’ HILARY MANTEL
‘A masterclass in writing about the power of music and grief’ THE TIMES, 100 best books for summer 2022
Love and Death.
Grief and Joy.
Music that lasts forever.
Leipzig, 1726. Eleven-year-old Stefan Silbermann has just lost his mother. Sent to Leipzig to train as a singer in the St Thomas Church choir, he is rescued from his homesickness and grief by the Cantor: Johann Sebastian Bach himself. Stefan is brought into the Bach household as an apprentice – until a devastating loss brings his period of sanctuary to a close.
Something is happening, though. In the depths of his loss, the Cantor is writing a new work. As Stefan watches the work rehearsed, he realises he is witness to the creation of one of the most extraordinary pieces of music that has ever been written.
‘Brilliant … Readers will be enriched by this novel and its glimpse at genius’ The Times, Historical Fiction of the Month
‘Warmly, reverently, Runcie brings alive what it is like to take part, for the very first time, in one of the most extraordinary pieces of music ever written’ Daily Telegraph