- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Harvard University Press; Reprint edition (January 1, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780674059269
- ISBN-13: 978-0674059269
- ASIN: 0674059263
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,669,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bach: Essays on His Life and Music Reprint Edition
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What there is to know about Bach, Christoph Wolff knows. And everything Wolff...knows about Bach's life, he has poured into this new and magisterial biographical portrait...[Bach] is user-friendly, helpful, and entertainingly informative. Direct and illuminating commentary on Bach's major works, and on the major musical issues that Bach confronted, fill the book...[Wolff's] main text surrounds the facts of Bach's life with an invaluable sense of context--additional facts about musical life, courts, patronage, church doctrine, ecclesiastical and municipal politics...Wolff has provided every lover of Bach with a book to learn from. (Richard Dyer Boston Globe)
This volume will be useful not only to conductors, performers, and scholars, but to other listeners, myself included, who will be stimulated by it to find ever deeper levels of meaning in Bach's many-splendored genius...Christoph Wolff functions here as a philologist and palaeographer deciphering a complex manuscript, as a biographer contemplating the mysteries of continuity and change in the composer's long and productive career, as a demythologizer reviewing the legends about Bach with which we all grew up, as a social and intellectual historian placing the musical oeuvre into its total context, as a sensitive listener who even after all these years of research has not lost the capacity to hear and admire the miracle that is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. (Jaroslav Pelikan, Sterling Professor of History, Yale University, author of Bach Among the Theologians)
About the Author
Christoph Wolff is Adams University Research Professor at Harvard University.
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foremost Bach scholars alive today. His earlier Biography of J.S. Bach is
one of the most comprehensive, up-to-date, and readable presentations of
the great Master's Life. Now this book of Essays collects shorter articles and speeches
Wolff has given over the years, exploring a wide variety of subjects having
to do with Bach's music, primarily, as illuminated by recent historical
findings and analysis of his music.For instance:
1)did Bach really leave his Art of the Fugue unfinished, or did he actually
2)What do Bach's own markings on his personal copies of several of his
works tell us?
3)How did he adapt an aria from one of the cantatas to have it function as the
Agnus Dei in the Mass in B Minor?
4) Who tacked the chorale onto the end of the Art of the Fugue, and why?
5) What does the structure and import of his Musical Offering really imply
as a message to Frederick the Great, to whom it was dedicated?
Of more interest to the serious musician, who wants to understand in
greater depth the art of arguably the greatest composer in the Western
World, than to the casually interested reader,
this book is a must for any serious lovers and devotees of his music.