THE NEW GROVE BACH FAMILY by Christoph & Others Wolff

THE NEW GROVE BACH FAMILY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Starting with a listing of the dozens of Bach-family musicians who played or composed between (approx.) 1600 and 1800, this new installment in the Grove Dictionary's Composer Biography Series goes on to brief sketches of eleven of them, with fuller discussion of another three. Johann Sebastian Bach, of course, gets over half the total space here: a 50-page life story; an attempt to describe his output, ""unparallelled in its encyclopedic character""; and a few well-chosen remarks on the Bach Revival. J. S. Bach's son C. P. E. Bach receives much more modest attention--but with shrewd comments on his vocal music by contributor Eugene Helm. And Ernest Warburton's quick look at youngest son Johann Christian--far less original than C. P. E.--presents him as ""a highly significant figure of his time, the chief master of the galant style. . . ."" As usual, the composers here come equipped with scholarly work-lists and bibliographies--making this a valuable reference for serious music-students, even if (like most of the others in the series) a dry-as-dust introduction for listeners and musicians.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1983
Publisher: Norton