Bach at Leipzig
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...more
Paperback, 106 pages
Published October 25th 2005 by Faber & Faber
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Masterful is the word that comes to mind as I consider what to write about this comedic play. My only complaint comes from the performer in me. There are no parts for women. However being an audience member is no sad aspect. The plot is simple enough, the organist at Leipzig has died and other organists across Germany have come to audition for the post. What Itamar Moses does within that framework is a delight to behold. The play is full of witticisms both in form-it imitates a fugue-and in text...more
This is a very witty play based on a real event -- when a processional of organists auditions to replace the formidable composer Kuhnau at Leipzig -- only to be upstaged by Bach, who shows them a thing or two about music. Moses plays it mostly for laughs -- all the composers are either Georg or Johann, that sort of thing -- and are constantly forming conspiracies of 2 and 3 people in order to squeeze the others out -- and so it never rises to the level of deeply interesting social commentary, bu...more
This play bombed in New York and elsewhere, but I read it anyway. This is a play just a tad hung on an actual happening. It is in fact Bach less. Unfortunately for me I found it's humour obvious and repeated too many times. Sorry to all who rated it highly, perhaps it's just me.
I just saw this performed at Shakespeare Santa Cruz. It was so funny! The author's afterword contains one of the best lines. If you live anywhere near Santa Cruz you should consider seeing this play. Go to the Shakespeare Santa Cruz web site.