Evening in the Palace of Reason: Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment

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9780007153930: Evening in the Palace of Reason: Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment
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In one corner, a godless young warrior, Voltaire’s heralded ‘philosopher-king’, the It Boy of the Enlightenment. In the other, a devout if bad-tempered old composer of ‘outdated’ music, a scorned genius in his last years. The sparks from their brief conflict illuminate a turbulent age.

Behind the pomp and flash, Prussia's Frederick the Great was a tormented man, son of an abusive king who forced him to watch as his best friend (probably his lover) was beheaded. In what may have been one of history's crueler practical jokes, Frederick challenged ‘old Bach’ to a musical duel, asking him to improvise a six-part fugue based on an impossibly intricate theme (possibly devised for him by Bach's own son).

Bach left the court fuming, but in a fever of composition, he used the coded, alchemical language of counterpoint to write ‘A Musical Offering’ in response. A stirring declaration of faith, it represented ‘as stark a rebuke of his beliefs and world view as an absolute monarch has ever received,’ Gaines writes. It is also one of the great works of art in the history of music.

Set at the tipping point between the ancient and the modern world, the triumphant story of Bach's victory expands to take in the tumult of the eighteenth century: the legacy of the Reformation, wars and conquest, the birth of the Enlightenment. Brimming with originality and wit, ‘Evening in the Palace of Reason’ is history of the best kind – intimate in scale and broad in its vision.

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Johann Sebastian Bach created what may be the most celestial and profound body of music in history; Frederick the Great built the colossus we now know as Germany, and along with it a template for modern warfare. Their fleeting encounter in 1757 signals a unique moment in history where belief collided with the cold certainty of reason. Set at the tipping point between the ancient and modern world, Evening in the Palace of Reason captures the tumult of the eighteenth century, the legacy of the Reformation, and the birth of the Enlightenment in this extraordinary tale of two men.

About the Author:

Jim Gaines was the first editor in chief of People magazine, as well as the editor of Time magazine. This is his first book. He lives in Paris with his family.

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9780007153923: Evening in the Palace of Reason: Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment

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ISBN 10:  0007153929 ISBN 13:  9780007153923
Publisher: Fourth Estate Ltd, 2005
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Repr.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In one corner, a godless young warrior, Voltaire s heralded `philosopher-king , the It Boy of the Enlightenment. In the other, a devout if bad-tempered old composer of `outdated music, a scorned genius in his last years. The sparks from their brief conflict illuminate a turbulent age. Behind the pomp and flash, Prussia s Frederick the Great was a tormented man, son of an abusive king who forced him to watch as his best friend (probably his lover) was beheaded. In what may have been one of history s crueler practical jokes, Frederick challenged `old Bach to a musical duel, asking him to improvise a six-part fugue based on an impossibly intricate theme (possibly devised for him by Bach s own son). Bach left the court fuming, but in a fever of composition, he used the coded, alchemical language of counterpoint to write `A Musical Offering in response. A stirring declaration of faith, it represented `as stark a rebuke of his beliefs and world view as an absolute monarch has ever received, Gaines writes. It is also one of the great works of art in the history of music. Set at the tipping point between the ancient and the modern world, the triumphant story of Bach s victory expands to take in the tumult of the eighteenth century: the legacy of the Reformation, wars and conquest, the birth of the Enlightenment. Brimming with originality and wit, `Evening in the Palace of Reason is history of the best kind - intimate in scale and broad in its vision. Seller Inventory # APC9780007153930

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Repr.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In one corner, a godless young warrior, Voltaire s heralded `philosopher-king , the It Boy of the Enlightenment. In the other, a devout if bad-tempered old composer of `outdated music, a scorned genius in his last years. The sparks from their brief conflict illuminate a turbulent age. Behind the pomp and flash, Prussia s Frederick the Great was a tormented man, son of an abusive king who forced him to watch as his best friend (probably his lover) was beheaded. In what may have been one of history s crueler practical jokes, Frederick challenged `old Bach to a musical duel, asking him to improvise a six-part fugue based on an impossibly intricate theme (possibly devised for him by Bach s own son). Bach left the court fuming, but in a fever of composition, he used the coded, alchemical language of counterpoint to write `A Musical Offering in response. A stirring declaration of faith, it represented `as stark a rebuke of his beliefs and world view as an absolute monarch has ever received, Gaines writes. It is also one of the great works of art in the history of music. Set at the tipping point between the ancient and the modern world, the triumphant story of Bach s victory expands to take in the tumult of the eighteenth century: the legacy of the Reformation, wars and conquest, the birth of the Enlightenment. Brimming with originality and wit, `Evening in the Palace of Reason is history of the best kind - intimate in scale and broad in its vision. Seller Inventory # APC9780007153930

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Book Description Harper. Paperback. Condition: New. 370 pages. Dimensions: 7.8in. x 5.1in. x 0.8in.In one corner, a godless young warrior, Voltaires heralded philosopher-king, the It Boy of the Enlightenment. In the other, a devout if bad-tempered old composer of outdated music, a scorned genius in his last years. The sparks from their brief conflict illuminate a turbulent age. Behind the pomp and flash, Prussias Frederick the Great was a tormented man, son of an abusive king who forced him to watch as his best friend (probably his lover) was beheaded. In what may have been one of historys crueler practical jokes, Frederick challenged old Bach to a musical duel, asking him to improvise a six-part fugue based on an impossibly intricate theme (possibly devised for him by Bachs own son). Bach left the court fuming, but in a fever of composition, he used the coded, alchemical language of counterpoint to write A Musical Offering in response. A stirring declaration of faith, it represented as stark a rebuke of his beliefs and world view as an absolute monarch has ever received, Gaines writes. It is also one of the great works of art in the history of music. Set at the tipping point between the ancient and the modern world, the triumphant story of Bachs victory expands to take in the tumult of the eighteenth century: the legacy of the Reformation, wars and conquest, the birth of the Enlightenment. Brimming with originality and wit, Evening in the Palace of Reason is history of the best kind - intimate in scale and broad in its vision. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780007153930

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