Bach at Leipzig

Overview

Leipzig, Germany, 1722: Johann Kuhnau, revered organist of the Thomaskirche, suddenly dies, leaving his post vacant. In order to fill the position, the city council invites a small number of musicians to audition for the appointment, including Johann Sebastian Bach. This, however, is not his story. Based on actual events, Bach at Leipzig imagines with uncommon intelligence and wit how six little-known musicians resorted to bribery, blackmail, and betrayal in an attempt to secure the most coveted musical post in ...

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Overview

Leipzig, Germany, 1722: Johann Kuhnau, revered organist of the Thomaskirche, suddenly dies, leaving his post vacant. In order to fill the position, the city council invites a small number of musicians to audition for the appointment, including Johann Sebastian Bach. This, however, is not his story. Based on actual events, Bach at Leipzig imagines with uncommon intelligence and wit how six little-known musicians resorted to bribery, blackmail, and betrayal in an attempt to secure the most coveted musical post in all of Europe.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“An artistic and cerebral triumph . . . for Moses and contemporary theater as a whole.” —Lacey Sadoff, Marquette Tribune
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780571211111
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber
  • Publication date: 10/25/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 955,859
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Itamar Moses is the author of several plays, including Outrage, Celebrity Row, and The Four of Us.

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Read an Excerpt

Bach at Leipzig

Act One

Cast of Characters

JOHANN FRIEDRICH FASCH, organist, and Kapellmeister at Zerbst, fifties.

GEORG BALTHASAR SCHOTT, organist at the Neuekirche in Leipzig, fifties.

GEORG LENCK, organist, and Kantor at Laucha, late thirties.

JOHANN MARTIN STEINDORFF, organist, and Kantor at Zwickau, twenties.

GEORG FRIEDRICH KAUFMANN, organist, and Kantor at Merseburg, fifties.

JOHANN CHRISTOPH GRAUPNER, organist, and Kapellmeister at Darmstadt, fifties.

THE GREATEST ORGANIST IN GERMANY, organist, and Kantor at Hamburg.

 

SETTING: The Thomaskirche, Leipzig, Germany, 1722. Later, 1750.

 

AUTHOR'S NOTE: In spite of the highly constructed plotting, the archness of the language, the period setting, and so on, all of which seem to lend themselves to a heightened and distancing style of performance, this play works best when inhabited as fully and realistically as possible. My experience has been that when the temptation to "perform" takes over, not only does the play lose emotional resonance but it actually becomes less funny. Play it "for real."

Copyright © 2005 by Itamar Moses

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