Johann Sebastian Bach As His World Knew Him

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9781559722797: Johann Sebastian Bach As His World Knew Him
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Bach, the "holy cantor" church musician, has been often described in books. But the real Bach, the "eminently astute manager of his life," is frequently buried in endless, uninteresting detail. In contrast, Dr. Otto Bettmann's new book, Johann Sebastian Bach: As His World Knew Him, shows Bach with all his human qualities: the capable management of his vast family - two wives and twenty children - Bach's humor, his considerable business acumen, the all too human touches of eroticism, even his attitude toward death.
With illustrations throughout and organized as an A to Z compendium of Bach's life and his glorious music, this book covers every significant subject about the master, including his faith and secretiveness, his interests in numerology and calligraphy, his roles as cantor and capellmeister, and more. Bettmann explains why for nearly eighty years after the death of the world's greatest composer, Bach sank into oblivion.

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About the Author:

Otto L. Bettmann served as rare books librarian at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

From Booklist:

Bettmann grew up in the shadow of the Thomaskirche, of which J. S. Bach was cantor during his last 28 years. When the situation in Germany forced him to immigrate to the U.S., Bettmann took with him his trunk full of photographs and his love of Bach. The photos launched his livelihood when he founded the Bettmann Archive, and the music remained his joy. Bettmann combines livelihood and love in a unique pictorial biography of the baroque master, a book made for browsing exploration of the facets of Bach's life and career. It consists of short articles presented encyclopedically--that is, alphabetically by topic and cross-referenced. Some of the topics are "Blindness," which Bach suffered at the end of his life, "Education," the "Collegium Musicum" that performed his secular works and later became the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, "Oldest Son" (Wilhelm Friedemann), "Quaffing" (Bach liked his beer), "Summation Works" (e.g., the Musical Offering and the Art of the Fugue), and "Wanderlust." A foreword about Bettmann by Martin Bookspan and a short chronology round out a delightful book. Alan Hirsch

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Bettmann, O.
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