Johann Sebastian Bach (Hardcover)

Life and Work

By Martin Geck, John Hargraves (Translated by), Kurt Masur (Foreword by)

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780151006489, 752pp.

Publication Date: December 4, 2006

List Price: 40.00*
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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.

About the Author

Martin Geck is the 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.

Praise For Johann Sebastian Bach: Life and Work


"It's often said that you can't learn to love music by reading books. This book is the exception."--Die Welt

"Fascinating from beginning to end."--Berliner Zeitung