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The Cambridge Companion to Bach
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  • 8 b/w illus. 12 tables 27 music examples
  • Page extent: 344 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.68 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521587808 | ISBN-10: 0521587808)

The Cambridge Companion to Bach, first published in 1997, goes beyond a basic life-and-works study to provide a late twentieth-century perspective on J. S. Bach the man and composer. The book is divided into three parts. Part One is concerned with the historical context, the society, beliefs and the world-view of Bach's age. The second part discusses the music and Bach's compositional style, while Part Three considers Bach's influence and the performance and reception of his music through the succeeding generations. This Companion benefits from the insights and research of some of the most distinguished Bach scholars, and from it the reader will gain a notion of the diversity of current thought on this great composer.

• Provides comprehensive and indispensable background to thought and composition in Bach's day • Includes theories of how and why Bach's achievement has been influential • Contains new ways of understanding Bach's achievement and analysing and understanding the music


Part I. The Historical Context: Society Beliefs and World-View: 1. The Bach family Malcolm Boyd; 2. Johann Sebastian Bach in the context of domestic politics in Electoral Saxony Ulrich Siegele; 3. Music and Lutheranism Robin A. Leaver; 4. Bach's metaphysics of music John Butt; 5. 'A mind unconscious that it is calculating'? Bach and the rationalist philosophy of Wolff, Leibniz and Spinoza John Butt; Part II. Profiles of the Music: 6. The early works and the heritage of the seventeenth century Stephen A. Crist; 7. The mature vocal works and their theological and liturgical context Robin A. Leaver; 8. The instrumental music Werner Breig; 9. The keyboard works: Bach as teacher and virtuoso Richard D. P. Jones; 10. Composition as arrangement and adaptation Werner Breig; 11. Bachian invention and its mechanisms Laurence Dreyfus; Part III. Influence and Reception: 12. Bach as teacher and model Stephen Daw; 13. Changing issues of performance practice George B. Stauffer; 14. Bach reception: some concepts and parameters Martin Zenck; 15. Reinterpreting Bach in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Martin Zenck.


'This present collection of essays is far from being a rehash of what is already easily accessible in other sources, but sheds new light on known facts or, better still, unearths new ones ... unreservedly recommended for serious music libraries.' Reference Reviews

'All fifteen contributions by international experts in their fields are informative and stimulating.' Archiv für Reformationsgeeschichte


Malcolm Boyd, Ulrich Siegele, Robin A. Leaver, John Butt, Stephen A. Crist, Werner Breig, Richard D. P. Jones, Laurence Dreyfus, Stephen Daw, George B. Stauffer, Martin Zenck

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