9780393050714 198

Bach's Musical Universe

The Composer and His Work


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A comprehensive and fascinating study of the overall creative output of Johann Sebastian Bach, capturing the essence of his art.

In this companion volume to Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician, Christoph Wolff contextualises his famous subject by delving deeply into the composer’s rich collection of music. Emerging from this complex and massive oeuvre, Bach’s Musical Universe is a focused discussion of a meaningful selection of compositions.

Unlike any previous study, this book details Bach’s creative process across the various instrumental and vocal genres, and centres on what the composer himself judiciously presented in carefully designed benchmark collections and individual works—all consequential to Bach’s musical art. Tracing Bach’s evolution as a composer, Wolff compellingly illuminates the ideals and legacy of this giant of classical music in a new, refreshing light for everyone, from the amateur to the virtuoso.


"If Wolff's first book, could be described in its simplest terms as "Bach in his world ', his second is "Bach in eternity"." — Lindsay Kemp, Gramophone

"…a very welcome and scholarly complement to the earlier biography that focuses more intensely on the music itself, the thought and compositional processes that created it… As we have come to expect from Professor Wolff, the book is meticulously prepared, supported by numerous tables, footnotes, and extensive bibliography. Readers will be particularly drawn to the detailed chronology, clearly set out for easy reference and fascinating reading in itself." — Margaret Steinitz, Journal of the London Bach Society

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