The New Bach Reader: A Life of Johann Sebastian Bach in Letters and Documents

Front Cover
Hans T. David, Arthur Mendel, Christoph Wolff
W. W. Norton & Company, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 551 pages
2 Reviews
Gathered in this volume are all the letters, reports, testimonials, complaints, thank-you notes, and other writings of J. S. Bach, together with a generous helping of performance and payment inventories, town council proceedings, court and archival records, letters of appointment, and other papers that document the fabric of the composer's daily life. Here, in English translations that preserve the full flavor of the originals, we encounter more than four hundred items. The book also presents a complete translation of J. N. Forkel's landmark 1802 biography, On Johann Sebastian Bach's Life, Genius, and Works; a thorough chronology of events in the composer's life and career; a detailed genealogy and family tree that Bach himself prepared; an extensive obituary written by C. P. E. Bach and J. F. Agricola; facsimiles of a dozen music manuscripts, including working drafts; Romantic-era views of Bach; and a wealth of other materials.

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Review: The New Bach Reader

User Review  - Hans - Goodreads

Like a printed Bach wikipedia but with more personality. Read full review

Review: The New Bach Reader

User Review  - Dorothy Caimano - Goodreads

Fascinating to read the actual documents. I do need the editors' notes, however to understand some of this. And perhaps I'd better make up a score card to keep all the Bachs and all the Johanns straight. Ayayay! Did everyone name one or more of their children Johann in 17th century Germany? Read full review


Preface to The New Bach Reader
Preface to the First Edition of The Bach Reader 1945
Bibliographical Abbreviations
Conspectus of Parts IVII
A Portrait in Outline
Bachs Life in His Own Writings and Other Documents
Bach as Viewed by His Contemporaries
Bach in the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century
Forkels Biography of Bach 18021820
Bach in the Romantic Era
Money and Living Costs in Bachs Time
Bibliography 53
Places of Bachs Activities

Early Biographical Documents on Bach

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

David was professor of music at the University of Michigan.

Mendel was a distinguished musicologist and professor of music at Princeton University.

He is a William Powell Mason Professor of Music at Harvard University, is coauthor of the Bach Compendium.

Bibliographic information