THE MUSIC MASTER: The Story of Johann Sebastian Bach by Theodore J. Kleinhans

THE MUSIC MASTER: The Story of Johann Sebastian Bach

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The dust jacket of The Music Master calls it ""fictionalized biography"". The result of such an approach is a wobegone, patronizing attempt to sugar-coat one of musical history's most substantial figures. Johann Sebastian Bach was an industrious, kindly, reasonably worldly genius whose career as a composer and teacher needs no apologia. Kleinhans conveys the incongruous impression that so far as he knows it has heretofore been impossible to learn a single fact about Bach's life or work. In a style so prosalc as to destroy all glamour, he concentrates upon Bach the family man, the court musician, the breadwinner. Even for the youngest audiences, the tone is disparaging, and the information is not sufficiently extensive for its merits to outweigh its condescension in the eyes of a serious musicologist. Having finished reading, one senses an implied moral -- on the subject of patlence and thrift -- but its connection with the awesome mystery of artistic talent is more than a little vague. Nothing here to stimulate the reader to run, not walk, to the next Bach concert.

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 1961
Publisher: Muhlenberg Press