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Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375415297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375415296
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 4.1 x 24.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #66,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marc Launay on Jan. 3 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been collecting and devouring books on the life and music of J S Bach for over 50 years, beginning with Spitta. Gardiner's tome, not a standard biography nor a systematic musicological analysis of works (it doesn't even bother with a catalogue!), is by far the best book on Bach. The author takes us through the life experiences and musical meanders that led him to the "authentic" Bach and his lifelong search to catch glimpses of the man through his music. He is in every respect successful in that endeavor. Bach connaisseurs will appreciate the intimacy and the fluidity of Sir John's loving dissections of the cantatas, and other sacred works, all of which he obviously knows note-by-note and word-by-word, and his novel ability to show how words dictated a musical mood, hence intonation, voicing, orchestration, tempo, all described and explained in straightforward and lucid terms. If you want to know all about Bach from one book, this is it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sheilah HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Nov. 25 2013
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book because, I will admit, of the title. Something about it just drew my fascination, and then upon reading what it is about I bought it out of curiosity. I had never before really wondered about Bach's life, but this book sparked my interest.

First off, let me say, it is indeed a long read, being over 500 pages, yet it is a fascinating read. The research that must have been needed to be done, paired with an eloquent writing style and splashes of humour made the book one where you want to read every page thoroughly, and are always curious as to what is next.

I think this is a wonderful book for anyone who likes biographies, as well as for anyone with a passion for classical music.

Should you buy? yes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Owen John Horn on March 14 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a comprehensive biography of Bach this is not it. The majority of the book is analysis of his choral works by a real authority which a lot of people would enjoy. The solo works, concertos, etc.. don't get touched and Gardiner is upfront about that. To tell you the truth, I got bored by the attempt to glean biographical and psychological information from the music and contemporary writing and not from real biographical fact. Gardiner also has a habit of putting quotes in which have no contextual relevance to the subject, they are just quotes he likes that kind of fit the subject matter.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book was purchased as a birthday gift for a lover of all things Bach. Unfortunately it was
only received 13 Feb.for a birthday on the 10 and so my look was cursory. The book does
impress, beautiful presentation, great illustrations, appears very well researched and a
brilliant author. I would not hesitate to recommend this book as a gift for any lover of great
music.
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By Beverley Nurse on Nov. 29 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderful
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