Musical Lives: The Life of Bach (Hardback)
  • Musical Lives: The Life of Bach (Hardback)
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Musical Lives: The Life of Bach (Hardback)

(author)
£52.00
Hardback 228 Pages / Published: 18/12/2003
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Bach, like Shakespeare, is known largely by his works, exceptional in quantity as well as quality, and only a few original documents convey any idea of his life and character. Peter Williams's 2003 look at Bach's biography asks many questions about the so-called evidence. What was he like as a young man, as a father, as an ageing church servant? What were his preoccupations? What music did he know and how did he compose and perform such an amazing amount of music? Was he a disappointed man? Reading the available documentation critically, especially from the viewpoint of a performer, and going back to the first substantial 'biography' of Bach, namely his Obituary, Williams suggests new interpretations of the composer's life and his work. In addition, he asks if our understanding of Bach has been hindered by the unremitting deference displayed towards him since his death.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521826365
Number of pages: 228
Weight: 440 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'Williams is thoroughly honest, and honestly thorough, in sifting through the facts, assessing their robustness, and setting them in the context ... of Bach's actual music, and equally important, the traditions and philosophies of eighteenth-century Lutheran Germany - warts and all ... In its rationality and calm authority, Williams' biography lays to rest much of the confusion relating to the pieces in one of musical history's most frustrating incomplete jigsaws.' The Scotsman
'This is a rich yet unassuming book for which we should long be grateful.' Musical Times
'... as well rounded and full a life of the composer as we shall probably ever have.' Contemporary Review
'... Professor Williams may shatter a few illusions, he will certainly make you think and he brings a refreshingly novel appraoch to the telling of Bach's lifestory ... A thoroughly good read.' London Bach Society
'... a book which is both informative and entertaining. Do not be fooled by its relative brevity: this is, in many ways, a revelatory book, and should be on the bookshelves of every inquisitive musician.' Organists Review
'As a companion to his musicological studies of Bach's organ works reviewed above, the disciples of Peter Williams will find his new biography of the composer required reading ... his insights are illuminating.' Classical Music
'... stimulating book ...' Early Music Review
"It keeps up a guard against excessive reverence, and it encourages readers not only to reconsider ideas about the composer but also to rehear his music." The New York Review of Books, Peter Williams, Mystery Man

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