BCA Month Beauty Most Anticipated Fall Children's Books Hallo nav_sap_hiltonhonors_launch New Album by Chris young $69.99 Handmade Tote Bags hgg17 Save $30 on a Deep Cleaning Appointment curbpremiere curbpremiere curbpremiere  Three new members of the Echo family All-New Fire 7, starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis GNO Shop Now HTL17_gno



on May 27, 2017
What an outstanding book for musicians and all those who find Bach fascinating. I learned so much that I didn't know and came away with a much deeper appreciation for Bach's genius. The author is a bit of a genius himself in writing about a subject that could be dry and boring but has turned it into a wonderfully researched and imagined book.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 6, 2014
This is the best, most engaging Bach biography I have read yet. The style weaves his story through the stories of some of the most well known Bach performers of the past century (or two). The back and forth nature of the book flows well and I did not find it distracting. It was like several biographies in one. The only gripe--if you can call it that--is that the author seemed to spend quite a bit of time on Casals; however, it in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the book. Elie does not get bogged down with overly technical jargon like other biographers but he includes plenty of detail so the reader is not left wanting. I'd say that even if you are not a Bach addict, this biography is thoroughly enjoyable simply for the information and how interestingly it is presented.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 8, 2014
This book offered so much more than the title suggested. There was exhaustive review of the career and the writing and the personal life of Bach but, in addition, there was extensive treatment of the prodigious work by Schweitzer, Gould and Pabo Casals in performing and promoting the work of Bach as well as an intriguing and revealing account of the development of recorded music and its influence on those without access to live performance.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 2, 2014
This is a really broad study of Bach, his music, times, etc., and would be of help to performers and composers of all music in increasing musical depth of perception.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 26, 2013
A different approach to writing about Bach. Elie is not a musicologist but a serious listener - a viewpoint I strongly sympathise with. He examines Bach's music through recordings: Casals, Gould and such.
I finished the book with a deeper understanding of the music and a greater appreciation for the abilities of the performers.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 18, 2015
Extremely enjoyable and informative
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon March 13, 2013
Having listened countless times to Glenn Gould's recordings of the Goldberg Variations, I thought this book might offer insights into why I found them so mesmerizing, and I did. The first part of the book intersperses an account of Bach's music making with those of mid-20th century performers who recorded his work--Albert Schweitzer, Pablo Casals, Wanda Landowska, Leopold Stokowski, Rosalyn Turek, Leonard Bernstein and Gould, of course. This was my favorite part of the book, because it showed the progression from wax to vinyl to digital, and Elie tells their stories well. His focus on Gould's music and the arch of his life is well done and instructive, but sad. Then along comes Yo Yo Ma to brighten things up.

As with other books I've liked about the making of music, I find it frustrating that book and music publishers can't find a way to insert excerpts of a work being discussed into electronic books. Often, I have trouble remembering specific works or parts of works without a cue, and even though Elie describes those passages in some detail, it doesn't trigger my memory unless I hear them. Even a measure or two from some nameless performer would help illuminate words on a page.

Elie explains how Bach was the composer whose work seemed to most insinuate itself into the pop music of the sixties and on, and he mentions plenty of examples. but too often they are described in less loving detail. What we gain from digitized music--fidelity, portability, widespread distribution--has brought into focus the purposes for which live performance serve to bring us together. And Elie describes numerous performances he attends. Toward the end, there's a lot of listing of names that obscures the points he makes. Perhaps there was just too much to say.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 15, 2012
I am continuing to read this book on my iPad (Kindle app). I have studied Bach and performed his music all my life and this is a great addition to my collection. JS Bach was an ordinary fellow during his time but also an extraordinary musician with no equal before or since! Great book and well researched.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 15, 2013
A compelling read - a series of biographical sketches of Bach and some of the greats who interpret his music.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 18, 2015
Insightful. Wonderful presentation of the threads of the intertwining stories - like a Bach Fugue
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse