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Basically Bach: A 300th Birthday Celebration Hardcover – March 1, 1985


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Mcgraw-Hill; First edition (March 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070356467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070356467
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,450,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "renee711" on April 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Any one who enjoys music knows who Johann Sebastian Bach is and knows he led an incredibly interesting life. Basically Bach includes everything you want or need to know about Bach and his life. In my opinion Herbert Kupferberg did a really good job covering all of the aspects of Bach's life. In it he went through Bach's life and also some other famous Johanns and Bachs. Bach wrote pieces of music for the clavier, church songs for the organ, and operas. He was married twice. His first wife was Maria Barbara and his second was Anna Magdalena. This is a good book for anyone who is interested in history, good music, and Bach. You'll definitely enjoy this wonderful book by Herbert Kupferberg.
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Format: Hardcover
If you love Bach's music and want to know more about the genius behind the magic but don't enjoy lengthy biographies, you'll find "Basically Bach" a treasure. Rather than describing Bach's life chronologically, Herbert Kupferberg makes Bach come alive by concentrating on the essential elements of his life. And there was more drama - even pathos - in Bach's sixty-five years on earth than I ever realized.

Take Bach's famously large family - by his two wives, he had twenty children. But ten never made it to their tenth birthday. And just as a farmer might have a large family to work the fields, many of Bach's children were gainfully employed within the family as musical copyists. Four became well-known composers whose fame lasts to the present day. Concerts at the Bach house must have been truly wonderful, indeed.

Kupferberg entertains us with stories about Bach that reveal the great man as flesh and blood. How humiliating it must have been for Bach when his masterpiece, the St. Mathew Passion, met with mixed reviews. Or when the Leipzig town council, considering candidates for town cantor, settled for Bach - whom they considered a `mediocrity' - only because Christoph Graupner (ever hear of him?) was not available. Bach did have a small triumph, however, when the most famous organist of France challenged him to an organ competition, only to remember a prior engagement after he overheard Bach practicing! And I was touched by how much Bach wished to meet Handel: he invited Handel to his home and once even walked twenty miles to meet him - only to be rebuffed each time by his more famous contemporary.
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