Bach, like Shakespeare, is known largely by his works, exceptional in quantity as well as quality, and only a few original documents convey any idea of his life and character. Peter Williams's 2003 look at Bach's biography asks many questions about the so-called evidence. What was he like as a young man, as a father, as an ageing church servant? What were his preoccupations? What music did he know and how did he compose and perform such an amazing amount of music? Was he a disappointed man? Reading the available documentation critically, especially from the viewpoint of a performer, and going back to the first substantial 'biography' of Bach, namely his Obituary, Williams suggests new interpretations of the composer's life and his work. In addition, he asks if our understanding of Bach has been hindered by the unremitting deference displayed towards him since his death.
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(216mm x 138mm x 13mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Peter Williams
Peter Williams (1937-2016) was an internationally renowned Bach scholar and performer. He held the first Chair in Performance Practice in Britain at the University of Edinburgh, where he was Director of the Russell Collection of Harpsichords and latterly Dean of Music. He was also the first Arts and Sciences Distinguished Chair at Duke University, North Carolina. He was the author of many books, including A New History of the Organ (1980), The Organ Music of J. S. Bach (3 volumes, Cambridge, 1981-1984), Bach, Handel, Scarlatti 1685-1985 (Cambridge, 1985) and Bach: The Goldberg Variations (Cambridge, 2001).