9780151006489

Johann Sebastian Bach

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780151006489

  • ISBN10:

    0151006482

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2006-12-04
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping Icon Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • eCampus.com Logo Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $40.00 Save up to $10.00
  • Buy Used
    $30.00

    USUALLY SHIPS IN 2-4 BUSINESS DAYS

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

Summary

Two hundred and fifty years after his death, Johann Sebastian Bach remains one of the most compelling figures in the history of classical music. In this major study of the composer's life and work, Martin Geck follows the course of Bach's career in rich detail--from his humble beginnings as an organ tuner and self-taught court musician to his role as Kapellmeister and cantor of St. Thomas's Church in Leipzig. Geck explores Bach's relations with the German aristocracy, his position with regard to the Church and contemporary theological debates, his perfectionism, and his role as the devoted head of a large family. The focus in this comprehensive, thoroughly researched book is on the extraordinary work that came of the composer's life. From the Goldberg Variations to the Brandenburg Concertos to the Art of the Fugue, Geck carefully analyzes Bach's innovations in harmony and counterpoint, placing them in the context of European musical and social history. Always fresh and stimulating, this definitive work reintroduces Bach's enormous oeuvre in all its splendor.

Author Biography

Martin Geck is the widely acclaimed author of numerous works on classical music, including a survey of its history from Beethoven to Mahler. He is a professor of musicology at the University of Dortmund in Germany.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix
Kurt Masur
Preface: Approaching Bach
What Do We Know about Bach? 3(6)
The Grand Old Men of Bach Biography: Forkel, Spitta, Schweitzer 9(14)
Transmission of the Works 23(12)
PART ONE THE STATIONS OF BACH'S LIFE
From Matins Singer to Hofkapellmeister
35(80)
Eisenach
37(2)
Ohrdruf
39(3)
Luneburg
42(5)
Arnstadt
47(15)
Muhlhausen
62(13)
Weimar
75(21)
Cothen
96(19)
Cantor at St. Thomas and City Music Director in Leipzig
115(74)
The Position and Its New Incumbent
115(26)
The Early Years in Leipzig
141(25)
The Middle Leipzig Period: ``Court Composer''
166(23)
Director of the Collegium Musicum and Composer of Secular Music
189(88)
Aesthetic Controversies, Private Initiatives
205(14)
The Later Leipzig Years: The Universalist
219(40)
The Bach Household
259(18)
PART TWO THE VOCAL MUSIC
The Early and Weimar Cantatas
277(49)
The Leipzig Cantatas
326(59)
The Passions
385(30)
Secular Cantatas and the Christmas Oratorio
415(21)
The Magnificat and the Masses
436(17)
The Motets
453(18)
PART THREE THE INSTRUMENTAL WORKS
The Art of the Toccata
471(27)
The Organ Chorales
498(27)
The Cothen Demonstration Cycles: Inventions and Sinfonias, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Six Solos for Violin
525(25)
The Concertos
550(29)
The Sonatas and Suites
579(29)
The Late Cycles
608(35)
The Goldberg Variations
611(9)
The Art of Fugue
620(13)
The Musical Offering
633(10)
PART FOUR HORIZONS
Bach's Art
643(10)
Bach as a Christian
653(7)
Rhetoric and Symbolism
660(10)
Proportion and Numerical Relations in Bach's Music
670(5)
Theological Bach Research: Between Scholarship and Faith-Inspired Learning
675(2)
Acknowledgments
677(2)
Notes 679(18)
Bibliography 697(24)
Index 721

Excerpts

THE GRAND OLD MEN OF BACH BIOGRAPHY: FORKEL, SPITTA, SCHWEITZERJohann Nikolaus Forkel publishes the first book on Johann Sebastian Bach in 1802, an eighty-two-page work entitled On Johann Sebastian Bachs Life, Art, and Work: For Patriotic Admirers of True Musical Art. The author was born in 1749, while Bach was still alive, in a village near Coburg, and in 1779 became Gttingen Universitys director of music. For years he maintained lively contact with Bachs sons and benefited from their direct, though far from complete, knowledge of their father. On one occasion, Forkel sends Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, presumably his most generous informant, several mettwursts to show his gratitude for notes the younger Bach turned over to him.1 Yet his sketch of Bachs life is supplemented with all sorts of anecdotal material. Although Forkel made a name for himself with a General History of Music, he seems less interested in determining Bachs place in music history than in paying tribute to him as a national hero.Forkel writes his book at a time when the Germans are resisting the ideas of the French Enlightenment and Napoleons push for political hegemony, striving instead to establish the concept of a German nation. They find a guiding principle in the notion of cultural unityGermany as the nation of poets and thinkers. They assert that what distinguishes the Germans from other peoples is their penchant for thoroughness, profundity of thought, moral earnestness, and passion for ideals. Thus Bach is the right man to become a musical national hero in this period.When Forkel characterizes his hero as the greatest master of musical expressiveness who ever existed, as a composer whose works are full of character and feeling in spite of all their complexity and intricacy, he is drawing on his understanding of music as a rhetorical art form, yet at the same time he is introducing the possibility of viewing Bach from other perspectives: not exclusively as the great organ virtuoso, teacher, and master of the fugue, the splendid contrapuntalist and powerful harmonist but also as an artist whose musical poetic spirit never lacked for adequate expressive means for portraying his emotions.2According to Forkel, Bachs genius and originality tower over the artistic spirit of the present. Because of its exemplary nature, Forkel calls the music of the first classic composer a priceless national heritage, the equal of which no other people can claim. Bachs works are intended not merely to delight for the moment; they are directed toward all that is great and noble and constitute, one and all, true ideals and immortal exemplars of art. The incomparable wealth of ideas gathered therein will allow future generations to continue discovering something new, even after thousands of encounters.3 Forkel does not confine himself to general observations, however; he also provides concrete information. He reports respectfully on six generations of musical Bachs; sketches Johann Sebastians

Excerpted from Johann Sebastian Bach: Life and Work by Martin Geck
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Rewards Program

Reviews for Johann Sebastian Bach (9780151006489)