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Published in its first edition in 1983, Boyd's treatment of this canonical composer is essential reading for students, scholars, and everyone interested in Baroque music. In this third edition, biographical chapters alternate with commentary on the works, to demonstrate how the circumstances of Bach's life helped to shape the music he wrote at various periods. We follow Bach as he travels from Arnstadt and Muhlhausen to Weimar, Cothen, and finally Leipzig, these journeys alternating with insightful discussions of the great composer's organ and orchestral compositions. As well as presenting a rounded picture of Bach, his music, and his posthumous reputation and influence, Malcolm Boyd considers the sometimes controversial topics of "parody" and arrangement, number symbolism, and the style and meaning of Bach's late works. Recent theories on the constitution of Bach's performing forces at Leipzig are also present.
The text and the appendixes (which include a chronology, personalia, bibliography, and a complete catalogue of Bach's works) were thoroughly revised in this edition to take account of more recent research undertaken by Bach scholars, including the gold mine of new information uncovered in the former USSR.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 154.9 x 231.1 x 22.9mm | 453.6g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 3rd ed.
  • numerous halftones, musical examples and 2 line drawings
  • 0195307712
  • 9780195307719
  • 353,203

Table of contents

Preface ; List of Illustrations ; List of Bibliographical References ; A Note on Currency ; Early Works ; Choral Settings ; Preludes and Fugues ; Miscellaneous Organ Works ; Concertos ; Orchestral Suites ; Instrumental Works ; Keyboard Works ; Cantatas ; Motets and Magnificat ; Passions ; Oratorios and Masses ; Harpischord Concertos ; The Clavier-Ubung ; Appendices ; A. Calendar ; B. List of Works ; C. Personalia ; D. Select Bibliography ; General Index ; Index of Bach's Works
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Review quote

"In my opinion, it is the best English-language book of its kind. Boyd seems to have a special knack for sifting through mountains of material, culling the most essential information, and not getting hung up in secondary details. There really are no comparable books on the market at present."-Stephen A. Crist, Professor of Music, Emory University "In light of the substantial amount of research that has taken place since the early 1980s, a new edition of the Bach volume is timely. Particularly impressive is Boyd's ability to integrate biographical and stylistic details into the body of the text in a manner that engages and informs the reader."-Don Franklin, University of Pittsburgh "Malcolm Boyd's Bach is the best short biography of Bach available today. It is concise, insightful, up-to-date, and a joy to use. For anyone interested in Bach's life and music, it is a 'must read.'"-George B. Stauffer, President of the American Bach Society "Boyd's Bach, with its array of illuminating musical illustrations and insights, will doubtless be of great interest both to musicians and to those who find in Bach the 'refreshment of the spirit' promised on the title pages of his music, and delivered with prodigious frequency."-Christian Science Monitor
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About Malcolm Boyd

Malcolm Boyd was a leading authority on the works of Bach, the author of several volumes on Bachs music, and editor of The Oxford Composers Companion: Johann Sebastian Bach. He taught at the University of Wales, Cardiff from 1973-1992. He died in 2001.
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Rating details

46 ratings
3.58 out of 5 stars
5 17% (8)
4 35% (16)
3 39% (18)
2 7% (3)
1 2% (1)
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