Front cover image for The new Bach reader : a life of Johann Sebastian Bach in letters and documents

The new Bach reader : a life of Johann Sebastian Bach in letters and documents

Gathered in this volume are all the letters, reports, testimonials, complaints, thank-you notes, and other writings of J.S. Bach, together with a generous helping of performance and payment inventories, town council proceedings, court and archival records, letters of appointment, and other papers that document the fabric of the composer's daily life. Here, in English translations that preserve the full flavor of the originals, we encounter more than four hundred items. The book also presents a complete translation of J.N. Forkel's landmark 1802 biography, On Johann Sebastian Bach's Life, Genius, and Works; a thorough chronology of events in the composer's life and career; a detailed genealogy and family tree that Bach himself prepared; an extensive obituary written by C.P.E. Bach and J.F. Agricola; facsimiles of a dozen music manuscripts, including working drafts; Romantic-era views of Bach; and a wealth of other materials
Print Book, English, ©1998
Revised and enlarged View all formats and editions
W.W. Norton & Company, New York, ©1998
collective biographies
liv, 551 pages : illustrations, maps, music, facsimiles ; 25 cm
9780393045581, 9780393319569, 0393045587, 0393319563
Johann Sebastian Bach : a portrait in outline
Bach's life in his own writings and other documents
Early biographical documents on Bach
Bach as viewed by his contemporaries. Poems of praise. "A pleasant brook" / Micrander [Johann Gottlob Kittel] (1731) ; "If in dim ages past" / Ludwig Friedrich Hudemann (1732) ; "O day, come often!"/ An anonymous birthday poel (c. 1735) ; "Vivat: J S B" / an anonymous congratulatory poem engraved on a crystal goblet ; "Let Italy go on her virtuosi vaunting / Georg Philipp Telemann (1751)
Bach the teacher. Introductory note: an overview of Bach's pupils ; Studying with Bach in Weimar: excerpts from the files of the Augsburg Evangelical Scholarchat on Phillip David Kräuter ; Excerpt from a letter of application for an organist post in Görlitz / Johann Caspar Vogler (1729) ; On Bach's teaching of composition / Johann Philipp Kirnberger (1782) ; The education of Bach's pupil Heinrich Nicolaus Gerber / Ernst Ludwig Gerber (1790) ; Johann Philipp Kirnberger and Bach / Friedrich Ludwig Aemilius Kunzen and Johann Friedrich Reichardt (1793) ; A reminiscence by the last of Bach's pupils / Johann Christian Kittel (1808)
Reports and reviews. Introductory note ; The first reference to Bach in print, from Das beschützte orchestre / Johann Mattheson (1717) ; On Bach's declamation / Johann Mattheson (1725) ; On Bach the keyboard player / Georg Ludwig Heinrich Schwanenberger (1727) ; On Bach, Frescobaldi, and Carissimi, and on three famous B's (Buxtehude, Bachelbel, and Bach) / Martin Heinrich Fuhrmann (1729) ; On holdings of Buxtehude and Bach manuscripts / Johann Gottfried Walther ; On the difficulty of partitas by Graupner and Bach / Johann Mattheson (1731) ; On large-scale passion music / Christian Gerber (1732) ; On the German style in clavier music / Johann Adolph Scheibe (1737) ; On a fugue subject by Bach / Johann Mattheson ; On Bach's thorough-bass playing / Lorenz Christoph Mizler (1738) ; On Bach's playing and conducting / Johann Matthias Gesner ; On Bach's canon for Hudemann / Johann Mattheson (1739) ; On the greatest masters of the organ / Johann Mattheson ; On the Italian concerto / Johann Adolph Scheibe ; On florid expression / Johann Adolph Scheibe ; On part III of the Clavier-Übung / Lorenz Christoph Mizler (1740) ; On meeting Bach / Johann Francisci ; On traveling to Leipzig to hear Bach / Johann Balthasar Reimann ; On Bach warming up / Theodor Leberecht Pitschel (1741) ; On being acquainted with Bach / Johann Christain Voigt (1742) ; On Bach's pedal playing / Constantin Bellermann (1743) ; A dedication to Bach, from the Third half-dozen sonatinas for the Clavier / Georg Andreas Sorge (1742) ; On Bach's instructions for playing chorales / Johann Gotthilf Ziegler (1746) ; On Bach's criticism of Gottfried Silbermann's system of temperament / Georg Andreas Sorge (1748) ; On Bach's adroitness in preluding chorales, from the preface to the First part of preludes to well-known chorale tunes / Georg Andreas Sorge (1750)
Criticism and defense: a controversy. Introductory note ; "Letter from an able musikant abroad" / Johann Adolph Scheibe (1737) ; "Impartial comments on a questionable passage in the sixth number of Der critische musicus" / Johann Abraham Birnbaum (1738) ; A reply by Scheibe ; Refutations of Scheibe / Lorenz Christoph Mizler ; A satire / "Cornelius" [Scheibe] (1739) ; A summary account of the controversy / Christoph Gottlieb Schröter (1746). Bach in the second half of the Eighteenth Century. General accounts and critical estimates. Introductory note. On the merits of Bach / Johann Friedrich Agricola (1750) ; On Bach's eminence in the development of organ playing / Johann Joachim Quantz (1752) ; On strict and free fugue / Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg (1753) ; On keyboard fingering / Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach ; Dedication for the Treatise on the fugue, part II / Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg (1754) ; On the depth of Bach's compositional art / Johann Michael Schmidt ; On Bach's thorough-bass playing / Johann Friedrich Daube (1756) ; On Bach's organ chorales / Jakob Adlung (1758) ; Bach's views on variety and declamation in fugal composition / Friedrich wilhelm Marpurg (1760) ; Notes quoting Bach in Jakob Adlung's Musica mechanica organoedi / Johann Friedrich Agricola (1768) ; On Bach's renown / Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1773) ; King Frederick's recollection of Bach's visit / Gottfried van Swieten (1774) ; On Bach's four-part writing / Johann Philipp Kirnberger ; On Bach's contrapuntal daring / Johann Philipp Kirnberger ; On Bach's tuning / Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg (1776) ; On Bach's invention of the viola pomposa / Johann Nikolaus Forkel (1782) ; Reminiscences of the Bach family and the Collegium musicum / Jacob von Stählin (1784) ; On Bach's significance / Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart (1784-1785) ; On a performance in Hamburg of the credo from Bach's B minor mass / Carl Friedrich Cramer (1786) ; On the compositional styles of Bach and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach / Carl Friedrich Abel (1787 or earlier) ; On the fugues of Handel and Bach / Charles Burney (1789) ; On Bach composing without use of a keyboard / Ernst Ludwig Gerber (1790) ; On Bach's pedal technique / Ernst Ludwig Gerber ; On Bach's keyboard and vocal works / Johann Friedrich Reichardt (1796) ; On Bach's central position among German composers / Augustus Frederic Christopher Kollman and Johann Nikolaus Forkel (1799)
On the art of fugue. Introductory note ; Preface to the 1752 edition / Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg (1752) ; A laudatory note / Johann Mattheson ; An offer to publishers for the plates / Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1756) ; On the whereabouts of the remainder of the autograph / Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
On the four-part chorales. Introductory note ; Foreword to the first edition / Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1765) ; "Note to the public" / Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1769) ; Excerpt from a letter of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach to Johann Philipp Kirnberger ; Excerpts from five letters of Johann Philipp Kirnberger to Johann Gottlob Immanuel Breitkopf (1777-1783) ; Subscription notice / Johann Gottlob Immanuel Breitkopf (1781) ; A supportive announcement of the publication / Johann Friedrich Reichardt ; Foreword to the second edition / Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1784). On the transmission and dissemination of manuscripts and prints. Introductory note. Excerpt from a letter of Padre Giovanni Battista Martini to Johannes Baptist Pauli, listing manuscripts and prints (1750) ; Excerpt from the will of Johann Caspar Vogler (1766) ; Excerpt from a letter of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach to Christoph Gottlieb von Murr, offering chorale preludes (after 1765) ; Note mentioning Bachiana at Montecassino / Christian Traugott Weinlig (1768) ; Excperpts from letters of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach to Johann Nikolaus Forkel, offering manuscripts and original editions (1774) ; Note from James Hutton presenting an autograph of the Goldberg variations to Mr. Glen (1776) ; Excerpt from a letter of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach to Johann Joachim Eschenburg, asking him to auction off music and books (1778) ; Four letters of Johann Nikolaus Forkel to the Leipzig publisher Hoffmeister & Kühnel (1801-1803)
Letters of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach to Johann Nikolaus Forkel. Excerpts from three letters concerning portraits and music of Bach (1774) ; Letter on Bach's personal and artistic traits ; Letter answering questions about Bach (1775)
A comparison of Bach and Handel / [by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach?]. Introductory note ; "Excerpt from a letter of February 27, 1788"
Anecdotes. Bach and the herrings / Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg (1786) ; The unknown organist / Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg ; A strange accomplishment / Charles Burney (1789) ; Bach teases Gottfried Silbermann / Edward John Hopkins (1855) ; The musical beggars / Johann Friedrich Reichardt (1796) ; The unresolved dissonance / Johann Friedrich Reichardt ; Bach and the bungler / Carl Ludwig Hilgenfeldt (1850) ; Bach replies to compliments on his organ playing, quoted by Johann Friedrich Köhler (after 1776) ; A maxim / Johann Phillip Kirnberger (1781) ; Io son' organista, too / Carl Friedrich Zelter (c. 1815) ; The linen draper and the portrait of Bach / Carl Friedrich Zelter (1829) ; Johann Christian and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach / Johann Friedrich Reichardt (1796) ; Bach on his sons / Carl Friedrich Cramer (1792)
Forkel's biography of Bach (1802/1820)
Bach in the Romantic era. Introductory note. The story of Bach's fame
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Ludwig van Beethoven
Carl Czerny
Friedrich Rochlitz
Samuel Wesley and Carl Friedrich Horn
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Carl Friedrich Zelter
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Robert Schumann
The Bach- Gesellschaft
Hector Berlioz and Friedrich Nietzsche
Richard Wagner
Philipp Spitta
The first edition of the mass in B minor, BWV 232 (1818). Subscription announcement / Hans Georg Nägeli
Mendelssohn revives the St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244 (1829). Introductory note. Excerpt from My recollections / Eduard Devrient (1869)
An American visits the Bach sites in Leipzig (1852). Introductory note. Three 'letters from abroad' / Lowell Mason
Appendix : money and living costs in Bach's time
Rev. and enl. ed. of: The Bach reader. Rev. ed. 1966