Although we are acquainted with the music of J. S. Bach through countless performances and recordings, the composer himself continues to come across as the somewhat enigmatic figure depicted in a single, familiar portrait. Published in 2000 to mark the 250th anniversary of Bach's death, author and leading Bach scholar Christoph Wolff presents a new picture that brings to life this towering figure of the Baroque era. Now available in paperback, this engaging biography portrays Bach as the living, breathing-and sometimes imperfect-human being that he was, while bringing to bear all the advances gained in the last half-century of Bach scholarship. Wolff demonstrates the intimate connection between the composer's life and his music, showing how Bach's superb inventiveness pervaded his career as a musician, composer, performer, scholar, and teacher. And throughout, we see Bach in the broader context of his time: its institutions, traditions, and influences. With this highly readable book, Wolff sets a new standard in Bach biography.
Christoph Wolff is William Powell Mason Professor of Music and dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. He is co-author of the Bach Compendium, co-editor of the research journal Bach-Jahrbuch, and author of The New Grove Bach Family. Thirty-two of his numerous journal articles have been collected in his Bach: Essays on his Life and Music.