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Bach : essays on his life and music

Author: Christoph Wolff
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1991.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The noted Bach scholar Christoph Wolff offers in this book new perspectives on the composer's life and remarkable career. Uncovering important historical evidence, the author demonstrates significant influences on Bach's artistic development and brings insight on his work habits, compositional intent, and the musical traditions that shaped Bach's thought. Wolff reveals a composer devoted to an ambitious and highly  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Wolff, Christoph.
Bach.
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1991
(OCoLC)607780349
Named Person: Johann Sebastian Bach; Johann Sebastian Bach; Johann Sebastian Bach; Johann Sebastian Bach; Johann Sebastian Bach
Material Type: Biography, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Christoph Wolff
ISBN: 0674059255 9780674059252 0674059263 9780674059269
OCLC Number: 22306012
Description: xiv, 461 pages : music ; 26 cm
Contents: [Part 1] : Outlines of a musical portrait --
New perspectives on Bach biography --
The family --
Decisive career steps --
Employers and patrons --
Buxtehude, Bach, and seventeenth-century music in retrospect --
Bach and Johann Adam Reinken : a context for the early works --
Vivaldi's compositional art, Bach, and the process of "musical thinking" --
Bach and the tradition of the Palestrina style --
[Part 2] : New sources : broadened perspectives --
The Neumeister collection of chorale preludes from the Bach circle --
Bach's audition for the St. Thomas cantorate : the cantata "Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn" --
Origins of the Kyrie of the B minor mass --
The reformation cantata "Ein feste Burg" --
The handexemplar of the Goldberg variations --
Bach's personal copy of the Schübler chorales --
The Clavier-Übung series --
Text-critical documents on the original print of the partitas --
Bach's Leipzig chamber music --
New research on the Musical offering --
Bach's last fugue : unfinished? --
The compositional history of the Art of fugue --
The deathbed chorale : exposing a myth --
[Part 3] : Concepts, style, and chronology --
Chronology and style in the early works : a background for the Orgel-Büchlein --
The architecture of the passacaglia --
The organ in Bach's cantatas --
Apropos the Musical offering : the Thema Regium and the term ricercar --
The Agnus Dei of the B minor mass : parody and new composition reconciled --
Principles of design and order in Bach's original editions --
Toward a definition of the last period of Bach's work --
[Part 4] : Early reception and artistic legacy --
On the original editions of Bach's works --
Bach's vocal music and early music criticism --
On the recognition of Bach and "the Bach chorale" : eighteenth-century perspectives --
"The extraordinary perfections of the hon. court composer" : an inquiry into the individuality of Bach's music.
Responsibility: Christoph Wolff.

Abstract:

The noted Bach scholar Christoph Wolff offers in this book new perspectives on the composer's life and remarkable career. Uncovering important historical evidence, the author demonstrates significant influences on Bach's artistic development and brings insight on his work habits, compositional intent, and the musical traditions that shaped Bach's thought. Wolff reveals a composer devoted to an ambitious and highly individual creative approach, one characterized by constant self-criticism and self-challenge, the absorption of new skills and techniques, and the rethinking of riches from the musical past. Readers will find analyses of some of Bach's greatest music, including the B Minor Mass, important cantatas, keyboard and chamber compositions, the Musical Offering, and the Art of Fugue. Discussion of how these pieces "work" will be helpful to performers--singers, players, conductors--and to everyone interested in exploring the conceptual and contextual aspects of Bach's music. All readers will find especially interesting those essays in which Wolff elaborates on his celebrated discoveries of previously unknown works: notably the fourteen "Goldberg" canons and a collection of thirty-three chorale preludes. --From publisher's description.

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