Bach / Edition 3

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Published in its first edition in 1983, Boyd's treatment of this canonical composer is essential reading for students, scholars, and everyone interested in Baroque music. In this third edition, biographical chapters alternate with commentary on the works, to demonstrate how the circumstances of Bach's life helped to shape the music he wrote at various periods. We follow Bach as he travels from Arnstadt and Muhlhausen to Weimar, Cöthen, and finally Leipzig, these journeys alternating with insightful discussions of the great composer's organ and orchestral compositions. As well as presenting a rounded picture of Bach, his music, and his posthumous reputation and influence, Malcolm Boyd considers the sometimes controversial topics of "parody" and arrangement, number symbolism, and the style and meaning of Bach's late works. Recent theories on the constitution of Bach's performing forces at Leipzig are also present. The text and the appendixes (which include a chronology, personalia, bibliography, and a complete catalogue of Bach's works) were thoroughly revised in this edition to take account of more recent research undertaken by Bach scholars, including the gold mine of new information uncovered in the former USSR.

"It is probably the best and, without much doubt the most constructive and fascinating book of this length on J.S. Bach..."--London Times.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Boyd's Bach, with its array of illuminating musical illustrations and insights, will doubtless be of great interest both to musicians and to those who find in Bach the 'refreshment of the spirit' promised on the title pages of his music, and delivered with prodigious frequency."—Christian Science Monitor

"Malcolm Boyd's Bach is the best short biography of Bach available today. It is concise, insightful, up-to-date, and a joy to use. For anyone interested in Bach's life and music, it is a 'must read.'"—George B. Stauffer, President of the American Bach Society

"In light of the substantial amount of research that has taken place since the early 1980s, a new edition of the Bach volume is timely. Particularly impressive is Boyd's ability to integrate biographical and stylistic details into the body of the text in a manner that engages and informs the reader."—Don Franklin, University of Pittsburgh

"In my opinion, it is the best English-language book of its kind. Boyd seems to have a special knack for sifting through mountains of material, culling the most essential information, and not getting hung up in secondary details. There really are no comparable books on the market at present."—Stephen A. Crist, Professor of Music, Emory University

Library Journal
Forty pages longer than its predecessor, this edition of a standard work on J.S. Bach, first published in England in 1983, includes information obtained from Eastern European sources inaccessible to scholars a decade ago. In some cases, whole chapters have been recast, and Bach scholar Boyd (The Oxford Composer's Companion: Johann Sebastian Bach) embraces the current emphasis in Bach scholarship on the interplay between Bach's social setting and his music. This 250th-anniversary year of Bach's death is producing many Bach works, including Christoph Wolff"s singular Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician (LJ 3/15/00). Boyd's work is authoritative and provides commentary on a wide body of Bach scholarship. This edition supersedes the other editions, though libraries owning the 1997 American second edition may cringe at having to replace it so soon.--Bonnie Jo Dopp, Univ. of Maryland Libs. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Susan Miron
Boyd's book acts as a useful corrective, dispelling long-held misconceptions about the dating of many of Bach's compositions...Unabashedly scholarly yet very readable, Boyd's Bach with its array of illuminating musiclal illustrations and insights will doubtless be of great interest both to musicians and to those who find in Bach the "refreshment of the spirit" promised on the title pages of his music, and delivered with prodigious frequency.
Christian Science Monitor
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195307719
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/20/2006
  • Series: Master Musicians Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 892,233
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Malcolm Boyd was a leading authority on the works of Bach, the author of several volumes on Bachs music, and editor of The Oxford Composers Companion: Johann Sebastian Bach. He taught at the University of Wales, Cardiff from 1973-1992. He died in 2001.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Bibliographical References
A Note on Currency
1 Background and Early Years (1685-1703).
2 Arnstadt, Mühlausen (1703-8).
Early Works
3 Weimer (1708-17).
4 Organ Music.
Choral Settings
Preludes and Fugues
Miscellaneous Organ Works
5 C"then (1717-23).
6 Orchestral, Instrumental, and Keyboard Music.
Orchestral Suites
Instrumental Works
Keyboard Works
7 Leipzig (1723-30).
8 Music for the Leipzig Liturgy.
Motets and Magnificat
9 Leipzig (1730-41).
10 Parodies and Publications.
Oratorios and Masses
Harpischord Concertos
The Clavier-Übung
11 Leipzig (1742-50).
12 Canons and Counterpoints.
13 The Bach Heritage.
A. Calendar
B. List of Works
C. Personalia
D. Select Bibliography
General Index
Index of Bach's Works

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