Saturday, March 31, 2007

"Back to Bach"

At Bookforum, Paul Griffiths reviews two new biographies of Bach:
.... Williams asks us to contemplate a Bach who found nothing in his world that might conflict with a devout trust in, respect for, and devotion to the God of the New Testament. Having grown up, in organists' households, with a sense of music as divine worship, he could hardly separate the musical from the sacred. Williams underlines the composer's participation in coffeehouse concerts and even regrets Bach never had the opportunity to fulfill the potential for comic opera revealed in some of the secular cantatas (a regret he goes so far as to imagine Bach also feeling). But we may well be sharing Bach's view, both Williams and Geck suggest, if we interpret The Art of Fugue, the Goldberg Variations, and much of the other solo instrumental music as no less religious than the Passions.
Thanks to Harrison Scott Key at World Magazine for the reference.

Source: BOOKFORUM | Back to Bach

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