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The Life of Bach
Like Shakespeare, J.S. Bach is known largely by his works. Peter Williams asks many questions in this examination of the man as well as the composer. What was Bach like as a youth, father, and, eventually, church elder? What music did he know and how did he compose and perform such an amazing amount? Ultimately, Williams questions the effects of unremitting acclaim on obje ...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published December 18th 2003 by Cambridge University Press
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I hate to abandon a Bach biography, but I couldn't finish this one. Whilst Peter Williams clearly wishes to peel away at the mystery surrounding Bach, and asks some very pertinent questions pertaining to his life and works, the style is clunky. Furthermore, there areas where Williams relies upon paraphrasing the texts and drawing his own conclusions before the reader can propose their own thoughts. The German in brackets are distracting, given that there is no consistent trend of using German qu ...more
This mostly straightforward biography of Bach was extremely well-researched and had a lot of interesting information. I love Bach's music and am trying to read more materials about him and his works, and this was a pretty good place to start. I feel like I got a really good foundation for further studies. However, I wish that the experience itself (of reading this book) had been a bit more pleasurable. Unfortunately, Williams' framing device of exploring the information given in Bach's obituary, ...more