The monumental work of J. S. Bach--some 250 cantatas, 280 organ compositions, the great Passions, oratorios and masses, the Well-Tempered Clavier, the Brandenburg Concertos, the Art of the Fugue--stands as a high-water mark of Western civilization. Yet that work is understandable only in light of Bach's profound Christian faith, asserts Hans Conrad Fischer. Born under the shadow of Wartburg Castle, where Martin Luther in seclusion had translated the New Testament into German, Bach saw his work as a daily engagement with Christian mysteries, often signing his manuscripts SDG--soli deo gratia or for God's glory alone. This lavish volume celebrates Bach unabashedly. The engrossing text, enhanced with dozens of portraits, photos of locales and artifacts, maps and manuscripts, brings Bach, his faith, and his achievements directly to the reader. So too does the accompanying CD-ROM, including 17 key selections sampling Bach's best-known pieces from each genre and period of his life. It conclusively presents J. S. Bach's genius as not only musical but also religious, one that still effectively presents Christian faith to today's largely secular public.
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