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Johann Sebastian Bach (Christian Encounters Series)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  39 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Two-and-a-half centuries after his death, the complex life of composer Johann Sebastian Bach continues to fascinate.

Bach's colorful life was anchored in his belief that "music has been ordered by God's Spirit"?so much so that he began each composition by scrawling Jesu, juva (Jesus, help me) at the top of a blank page and concluded each with S.D.G. (short for Soli Deo Glor
ebook, 192 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by Thomas Nelson Publishers
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"Music has been mandated by God's Spirit." J.S. Bach

J.S. Bach's setting of the Crucifixion story in his "St. Matthew Passion" is a Holy Week tradition throughout the Christian world. Bach's sole goal, his overriding passion in all he wrote, was to glorify God.

I recently read this short biography of this phenomenal composer. It's part of the Christian Encounters Series highlighting important lives from all ages and areas of the Church published by Thomas Nelson.

Johann Sebastian Bach is generally
Feb 02, 2014 MC rated it it was ok
There are those who are good at what they do, and there are those who rise above the rest. Rarely, however, will a figure who is the best *ever* at what they do, be recognized as such. In the world of music, a figure *has* been recognized as the best in history. That figure is Johann Sebastian Bach.

In *Christian Encounters: Johann Sebastian Bach*, author Rick Marshall attempts to show the reader the man that Bach was, and how he humbly dedicated his talents to God. Bach is often seen as a cold,
Robert Stump
Feb 09, 2012 Robert Stump rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Homo Hominis Lupus

This concise biography of famed Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach touches the keystones of his life without inundating the reader with a deluge of musical minutiae. Marschall covers the major periods of Bach's life through his employments and settles in with his final appointment at St. Thomas to look more deeply at the music behind the man. Early on Marschall divulges the secret strength of Bach's talents, namely, his faith. On every pa
Ruth Hill
Apr 29, 2011 Ruth Hill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me begin by saying that I have a bachelor's degree in music, and I have taught music for 14 years or so. I was always a music history buff, and when I saw this book, I knew I wanted to read it. I always enjoyed learning about Bach, but I do not think I ever felt like I knew much about him. I would say I probably appreciated his faith more than I did his music. That was until I read this book.

As I began reading this book, I marveled at what I did not know about Bach. He was always one of the
May 09, 2011 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bach was born on March 21, 1685 in Germany, born into the Lutheran faith. As a church musician, Bach did not preach about music, his music preached about Christ. He had a personal relationship, not a professional duty, with Christ.

Bach began composing music at the early age of ten. His lifelong studies of the Bible and of Lutheran doctrine were the backbone of his performances. Church music was everywhere, and Bach’s performances were welcomed in churches other than his Lutheran church. His secu
Apr 07, 2011 Danielle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booksneeze
My childhood was full of good music. My father knows more about classical music than anyone else I’ve ever known, and our house was always full of it (plus jazz, Broadway, country, pop – I heard it all). Early on, I knew one of his favorite composers was Bach, and it wasn’t just because of the glorious and beautiful music he wrote. It also had a lot to do with Bach’s faith, a faith we share with him. He began every composition with the words “Jesu, Juva” (Jesus, help me) and ended each with “Sol ...more
Apr 11, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The premise of this book is a discussion of Johann Sebastian Bach and the influences that inspired his music. As biographies go, it is short and a quick read, offering a glimpse into the man who himself had a wide impact on the musical world.

Of Bach's great many works, the one which I am most familiar with is Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. Consequently, I knew that Bach was a Christian, but did not fully understand the great extent to which his faith impacted his music. Rick Marschall paints a ver
Oct 19, 2011 Jade rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
As someone who is thunderstruck by J.S. Bach's music, I was delighted to see that was offering, in exchange for an honest review, a copy of Johann Sebastian Bach by Rick Marschall. This book is part of the Christian Encounters series published by Thomas Nelson.

A comprehensive, yet concise biography of Johann Sebastian Bach's life, the book centers on his career as the most influential Baroque composer, and his creative work life. It also includes a bit about his family, his childr
May 24, 2011 Cynthia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Johann Sebastian Bach is a name that most people recognize, but not many know more than his creation of classical music that has withstood the passage of time. Bach's life was centered around his belief in God. He believed that "music has been ordered by God's Spirit." This book explores the culture of the time, the religious atmosphere impacting Bach's life, his family life, and of course, many facts related to music. His frustrations as well as triumphs are recorded. His relationships with oth ...more
Apr 29, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Classic music fans ages 12+
Though I was a bit slow to finish reading this, I enjoyed it. Having known very little about Bach except that he wrote "To the Glory of God Alone" (in Latin) on many of his musical works, it was fascinating to find out more about the man. In a manageable length and style, Rick Marschall gives highlights from Bach's life and times. I learned more about Bach's genius (both in composing and in inventing!), family, and more. Bach was apparently a very humble man who worked his hardest, looking to G ...more
May 28, 2011 Emma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was available for free for review on Booksneeze, and as I had not read anything about musicians for a while, I thought I might give it a try. It is a short book, but actually very interesting; like all books by this publisher, it has a strong Christian orientation, and it focuses a lot on how Lutheran faith intertwined with music in the life of Johann Sebastian Bach. It is well written and documented, with excerpts from several biographies, and will appeal both to musicians and Christi ...more
Dec 16, 2011 Analisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked the point the author brought out about the Age of Enlightenment, when Bach (and Isaac Newton) lived. He said, "they were enlightened to draw closer to God, not be liberated from Him. Science proved to them God's perfect ways of working...what Newton was to science and physics, Bach was to music. Essentially they both sought to prove that their works, their discoveries, their observations--and all the implications they drew--illuminate the workings of a supreme Creator in the universe."

Apr 19, 2011 Esther rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, book-review
As I read Johann Sebastian Bach by Rick Marschall, I noticed that this book was definitely written for the more musically inclined audience. There is heavy wading into the composition process of Bach and some of his contemporaries. Yet if the non-musically gifted reader is willing to dive in they will also find that there are many jewels to be gleaned from this story about Bach’s life and for the Seattleites all you might need to hear are the words “Coffee Cantata” and you will be hooked.

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The book gave a lot of interesting points on Bach's life; however, I personally was not impressed with the writing style. It also felt as though the author inserted too many of his own opinions. Even while many may concur with him, I felt as though he should have focused on other people's opinions instead of his own when writing a biography.

Having said this, I still think that there is a good amount of worth to this book.
Noah Arsenault
Jul 17, 2011 Noah Arsenault rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an eye-opening book, for someone who isn't familiar with JS Bach. It doesn't go into much detail about his life, and keeps the reading time short. However, the book makes lots of references to previous biographies, and also delves into musical terminology a lot. This is a wonderful book for those who don't know much about the great composer.
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Jun 27, 2012 Andrew Boyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Absolutely astounding.
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