Post by 2cts
Bach never ventured into the secular music drama
He was happy that he could make a live at each stage and he
started with the organ which was clearly bound to churches.
I recommend Christoph Wolff's "Johann Sebastian Bach, the Learned
Musician" for an in-depth artistic biography. It makes quite clear
Bach's deeply felt religion and how it colored his life and work.
We have just a handful written pieces from him and very few trusted
statements about him. That's why whoever wrote a 'colorful' biography
is either a crackpot or he desperately needed the money from a book.
Unfortunately there is no biography, but just kind of novels on him.
It is 'conveyed', that, during the first (?) representation of
his St. Matthew's Passion, he left the church for some time to
get one or two portions of beer in ;)
Christoph Wolff is Adams University Professor of Music at Harvard. He
has also served as Chairman of the Music Department and Dean of the
Graduate School at Harvard. Wolff is also Director of the Bach Archive
at Leipzig. He is probably the most respected living Bach scholar.
With all his appointments he is definitely not "desperately in need of
money from a book", nor is he reputed to be a crackpot.
Wolff's books include Bach: Essays on His Life and Music (Cambridge,
1991), Mozart's Requiem (Berkeley, 1994), The New Bach Reader (New
York, 1998), and Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician, which
was a finalist for the Pulitzer prize in 2001. (New York, 2000). Wolff
(re)discovered a number of works by Bach (notably the Neumeister
Chorales) that were previously unknown or deemed lost.
The "New Bach Reader" is an assemblage of source documents on Bach. It
contains comtemporary accounts, writings on Bach from his sons and
their contemporaries, including some negative criticism of Bach's
music, and essays on Bach's music and reputation from later
"Johann Sebastian Bach, the Learned Musician" is a scholarly work with
a very extensive bibliography, densely footnoted.