Johann Sebastian Bach: The Real Cool "Big 5" Biographers in 260 Years

 

Who wanted to judge? Judge the quality of the individual biographies of the musician and composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Nobody wants ... I certainly don't. Round 270 years, thousands of authors, hundreds of publishers: more than two and a half centuries have passed since Bach's death, and the fun and challenge of writing a book about the life of Johann Sebastian Bach is undiminished. The next authors are constantly writing their next biographies. Just like my husband.

 

Biographies about Bach come and go. Every year. They are illuminated in the press and in all other media with more or less large Traraa and if two days later something else is much more exciting, then the first interest usually already fades again.

 

With very few biographies about Johann Sebastian Bach it was different. The really important biographies can still be enumerated on two hands today. And yet: even they are not all among the "Big 5", the five really important works. And even this analysis is of course subjective, because it is mine.

 

Would it then be a biography ... it would definitely be one of the great biographies about Johann Sebastian Bach. And perhaps it would even be the most successful. But it's not a biography. Unfortunately there is no photo of Esther Meynell, the author of this bestseller with many, many editions. And it's also not sure whether Meynell was the writer's real name. Unfortunately, the book is no longer available today. Very sad ... actually. By the way, here's a quick link to the shop.

Four of these five famous biographies are no longer alive today. One is the world's most renowned Bach expert and Bach author, who has published successfully on the subject of Bach for a long time. Four biographies of these "Big Five" are distinguished by the fact that they are still published today - freshly printed - regardless of their age. Although some facts and even some essentiality have changed a lot in this quarter of a millennium.

 

The "Big Five", the 5 big biographies about Bach. Simply lined up and as a first overview they are first Nikolaus Forkel, then Spitta, the Brit Terry, Schweitzer - yes exactly, the doctor in the jungle - and finally it is the professor who teaches at the University of Freiburg and at the elite university in the USA at all - Harvard - Christoph Wolff.

 

To the biography above, that of Esther Meynell. This biography nevertheless deserves its place here because, on the one hand, it provides such tremendously successful information about Bach's life, and, on the other hand, it is actually not a scientific biography, but an endearing narrative of Bach's life from the point of view of his second wife Anna Magdalena Bach. In our opinion - that's my husband and I with our Bach mission - it makes a hundred times more sense to read this easy-to-follow "food" and to be historically "right" in 95% of all descriptions than to hold "the wrong" biography in one's hands and "throw it away" after an hour bored or annoyed. So a clear verdict: "The little chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach" is not a biography, so it can't count among the "Big Five" either. But even today it is still a really easily digestible food.

 


The First Biography about Bach was a Short Biography

 

The necrology of 1750 ... written by Agricola, CPE Bach, and Mitzler. This is the first biography about Johann Sebastian Bach ever and it is still based on the information, which - so to speak firsthand - was experienced by the biographers. CPE is Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, one of Bach's four famous and five musical sons, who is also known as Berliner Bach and at the same time became Hamburger Bach.


33 Music Calendars Are 33 Music Gifts

 

 

On the left it's one of the cool Bach calendars, on the right it's the small Bach figure. To the shop.

 

 

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The "Big 5", No. 5 ... Welcome with Bach in the Internet Age: Professor Christoph Wolff Is Our Man

 

Today it is certainly the most read biography about Johann Sebastian Bach in the world: the work of Professor Christoph Wolff.

Without question, Professor Christoph Wolff is the measure of all things when it comes to the life of Johann Sebastian Bach. And ... he is far more serious than my husband when it comes to passing on Bach's knowledge to the rest of humanity.

 

Copyright photo: Rolf H. Seyboldt www.seyboldt4media.com

 

Professor Christoph Wolff is the undisputed authority when it comes to Bach today. He is a musicologist and was born in Solingen in 1940. He teaches at the famous Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the USA and is an honorary professor at Freiburg University. He was also director of the Bach Archive in Leipzig for 12 years - until 2013. His Bach biography was first published in 2001 and is still today the reference work on the composer from Thuringia, which is always - every year - accompanied for a while by new biographies about Bach. But they come and go, while Wolff's biography remains. Thus almost a quarter of a century passed between the two most recent Bach biographies, which are particularly noteworthy and at the same time successful.

 


33 Music Calendars, 33 Composers Calendars Plus – It Goes Without Saying – 33 Bach Calendars, Too

 

 

One of two Bach postage stamps calendars. Plus, there are also two composers stamps calendars. 3 sizes. 2019 + 2020. To the shop.

 

 

 

Bach calendars are composers calendars and music calendars ... gifts for musicians and music gifts. 3 sizes. 2019 + 2020. To the shop.

 

 

 

 


Renate Bach Verlag - Inhaber: Renate Bach - Bildstrasse 25 - D-74223 Flein - Tel.: ++49 - 71 31 - 57 67 61 - info (at) bach4you.de

 

     

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