Johann Sebastian Bach

life and work

By Geck, Martin & Masur, Kurt & Hargraves, John

Publishers Summary:
"In this book, Martin Geck illuminates the life and times of Johann Sebastian Bach and provides an analysis of his entire body of work, from the early cantatas through the Passions, the Masses, the Goldberg Variations, and the Art of the Fugue." "Geck discusses the music in all its breadth, explaining Bach's innovations in harmony and counterpoint, bringing new insight to long-unresolved musicological questions, and evoking the musicians and settings Bach encountered - "the poor singing scholars" of his boyhood in St. Michael's Cloister, the ensemble of virtuosos assembled by Prince Leopold of Cothen - and the difficulties he had with employers, both civic and aristocratic." "At the same time, Geck paints a rich portrait of Bach as an individual. Born into a long line of musicians, he began his formal career as an organ tuner, then took on job after job with increasing prestige, and in time became kapellmeister of St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. He married twice and fathered twenty children, ten of whom survived. Geck draws our attention to the family notebooks, in which Bach; his second wife, Anna Magdalena; and many of his children wrote down assignments, scraps of music, and poems - evidence of a busy, affectionate group devoted to a communal musical life. Out of this environment came the self-assured and uncompromising artist who for forty-five years created an uninterrupted stream of works of the very highest quality. No man, it may be said, has ever composed so brilliantly and so consistently."--BOOK JACKET.

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ISBN
978-0-15100-648-9
Publisher
Orlando, Fla. : Harcourt, c2006.


REVIEWS

Library Journal

Reviewed on September 15, 2006

Geck (musicology, Univ. of Dortmund, Germany;Ludwig van Beethoven ) adds to the voluminous literature on Baroque master Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) with this monumental tome intended for musical scholars and informed lay readers. He first highlights the composer�s personal development, conflicts with authorities, relations with patrons and family, and reasons for moving several times before finally settling in Leipzig. He then thoroughly exami...Log In or Sign Up to Read More

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