Bach (Master Musicians Series) by Malcolm Boyd

By Malcolm Boyd

The yr 2000 has been declared a "Bach Year," marking the 250th anniversary of the nice composer's dying. world wide, there'll be significant celebrations in honor of his fantastic physique of labor. This significant biography of Bach, now thoroughly revised and boasting 25% extra fabric, is released to coincide with those occasions. within the new version of this broadly acclaimed learn, biographical chapters exchange with remark at the works, to illustrate how the conditions of Bach's lifestyles helped to form the track he wrote at a number of sessions. We persist with Bach as he travels from Arnstadt and Muhlhausen to Weimar, Cothen, and at last Leipzig, those trips alternating with insightful discussions of the good composer's organ and orchestral compositions. in addition to offering a rounded photograph of Bach, his track, and his posthumous popularity and impression, Malcolm Boyd considers the occasionally arguable themes of "parody" and association, quantity symbolism, and the fashion and which means of Bach's past due works. fresh theories at the structure of Bach's appearing forces at Leipzig also are current. The textual content and the appendixes (which comprise a chronology, personalia, bibliography, and a whole catalogue of Bach's works) were completely revised to take account of the learn undertaken via Bach students, together with the gold mine of recent info lately exposed within the former USSR. An authoritative account of the existence and paintings of Johann Sebastian Bach, this quantity may be crucial examining for everybody drawn to the classical composers.

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With their own first child already expected (he was born on 21 July), this must have stretched the modest resources of Christoph and his new wife quite considerably; Jacob returned to Eisenach after his fifteenth birthday in 1697, but by then a second child was on the way. Sebastian also remained at Ohrdruf until he was fifteen, and we may suppose that his musical training during these years came mainly from his elder brother. Christoph had studied at Erfurt under Johann Pachelbel, the most important organ composer of the central German school, and his library of keyboard music, which Sebastian would certainly have known, included works by Pachelbel, Froberger, Kerll, and other German masters.

With these works belongs also Cantata 150, Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, which is thought to date from Bach’s first year at Weimar (1708–9). The occasional nature of these cantatas helps to explain the diversity of their texts, structures, and instrumentation, which in no two cases are the same. But they also share certain features in common. Like some of the clavier and organ works, they fall into several short sections without any very sharp distinction between one section and another, or even between solo and tutti items.

There will be more to say about both of them in later chapters. The names of those who acted as godparents are recorded in the baptismal registers at Weimar, providing interesting clues to the social circle in which the Bachs moved at this time. Among those named there are of course a number of relatives, showing that the couple kept in touch with their families at Eisenach, Arnstadt, and Ohrdruf. From Mu¨hlhausen came Pastor Eilmar, his married daughter Anna Dorothea, and Paul Friedemann Meckbach, son of the burgomaster Conrad Meckbach.

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