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Johann Sebastian Bach (Christian Encounters Series) Paperback – Bargain Price, April 12, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Christian Encounters Series
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595551085
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595551085
  • ASIN: B007F7WEYG
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,043,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rick Marschall has written and edited 62 books and hundreds of magazine articles. He is the managing Director of Rosebud Archives, the nation’s largest private image bank of historical graphics. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Firstly, the content of the book is very dry.
Liz Parnell
The author does a good job of describing Bach's professional and family life as well as cultural developments of Bach's time.
Auntie Em
I would recommend this book to anyone that has an interest in history or music and the faith that intertwines!
Carrie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Mount on April 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Germany in 1685. After spending a number of years as a church organist, he was an official court musician for several at Sachsen-Weimar and Cöthen for several more years. He spent the last quarter-century or so of his life in Leipzig, returning to his roots as a church musician.

The biography is elementary enough that it would have been classified as a young adult biography not too many years ago. It paves no new ground in Bach research, but in all fairness, it does not aspire to.

The book overflows with editorializing, which devolves into hagiography in the final chapter. Marschall quotes musicians and authors paying tribute to Bach as, among other things, "Our Dear Lord of music," whom every composer "would do well to pray to him before commencing work"; as "the god of music"; and, as "godlike." Not only would Bach have disapproved of the sentiments, he would also have been horrified that his biographer would let such blasphemy stand uncorrected.

As if that wasn't enough, the book also delves into psychology, quoting and elaborating on a discussion of whether Bach's expressions of humility were merely ways of his darker and blasphemous side at bay.

Bach is a worthy subject for a biographer. This biography, though, is unworthy of its subject.

Disclosure of Material Connection (FTC 16 CFR, Part 255): Review copy provided by publisher. Quite obviously, a positive review was not required.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Growing in Grace on August 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Though I was a bit slow to finish reading this, I enjoyed it. Having known very little about Bach except that he wrote "To the Glory of God Alone" (in Latin) on many of his musical works, it was fascinating to find out more about the man. In a manageable length and style, Rick Marschall gives highlights from Bach's life and times. I learned more about Bach's genius (both in composing and in inventing!), family, and more. Bach was apparently a very humble man who worked his hardest, looking to God for help, and giving glory to God for everything. How we might emulate that example! I enjoyed the quotes from Bach and people who lived in his time or thereafter (and at least one quote from Martin Luther, whose faith Bach shared). There were some rather distressing things mentioned in the latter part of how people have idolized Bach, and this sentiment should have been corrected. Overlooking that, if you want to learn the central points of Bach's life and style of composing, and have a little inspiration thrown in, this is the book for you. Four out of five stars.

I received a free ebook copy of this from booksneeze.com, but it is my honest review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John S. Harris on January 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
Johann Sebastian Bach. That name alone can bring to mind images of a musical genius or a crusty composer wearing a whig. Both might be true.

But as Rick Marschall points out in his book titled with the author's name, Bach was a "Christian" music making Christian music, albeit without words.

BookSneeze® provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a review, but I wish they'd take this one back!

I have to say that this short book has great info but it lacks a common thread to tie it all together. Yes, the common thread is that Bach was a religious man and considered his music to be a service to God. He cared little for fame or position. But this "storyline" is not strong enough to hold interest in the book to the end.

It was very difficult to finish this one. I only plowed through it just to give a review of it. I would only recommend this book to someone who loves music and had already read about Bach's life. Otherwise, this book is tough to finish.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Barden on May 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've read other books in the Christian Encounter Series but this one I didn't really like. Although I did learn more about Bach than I had previously known, it took me forever to get through the book. And it wasn't information that sticks with me. At the start of the book, I expected it to pick up pace because the author of this particular biography seems to have a reverence for Bach but even with so much admiration, it doesn't really doesn't pick up. I found the book to be quite boring.

It was a chore to read. And I hate to say that about books but there are some out there. Perhaps at another time I will pick this up again and reread it. Maybe I will get more out of it the second time around.

This book was a Kindle download from Booksneeze that I received free in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Noah Arsenault on March 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This is an eye-opening book, for someone who isn't familiar with Johann Sebastian Bach. It doesn't go into much detail about his life, and keeps the reading time short. However, the book makes lots of references to previous biographies, and also delves into musical terminology a lot. This is a wonderful book for those who don't know much about the great composer.

*This book was provided free by Booksneeze (Thomas Nelson). I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.*
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keith Ferguson on January 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
"The aim and final reason of all music should be none else but the glory of God and refreshing the soul. Where this is not observed there will be no music, but only a devilish hubbub." -J.S. Bach

Rick Marshall has written a brief introduction to the life of Johann Sebastian Bach for the Christian Encounters series by publisher Thomas Nelson. At 145 pages, this book gives the reader an accessible, quick overview of the life of Bach. Marshall covers the most significant events in Bach's life, attempts to give some perspective on his musical accomplishments, and writes about the pre-modern world of Bach's Christian faith. Each is interesting and challenging.

On the personal front, Marshall gives us the facts and a sense of life in the early 1700s. Bach was married twice - his first wife dying young. He and his first wife had seven children. He and his second wife had 13 children. Of course, in that age many children did not live into adulthood because of illness and inadequate medical knowledge. Bach worked his entire life for the church. He was born in a small German town and never lived beyond a few hundred miles from the place of his birth. He was a committed Lutheran and served to advance the cause of Christ through his musical work. Bach died at the age of 65 after suffering terrible pain related to a botched eye-surgery to help with cataracts.

Musically, Marshall does his best to explain the musical greatness of JS Bach without getting too terribly technical. He includes an appendix in the back of the book to explain some of the terms. Even then, the musical discussion can be hard to follow.
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