Bach and Mozart: Essays on the Enigma of Genius

Bach and Mozart: Essays on the Enigma of Genius

English | ISBN: 1580469620 | 2019 | 356 Pages | PDF | 8 MB

The essays in this volume, by one of America's leading authorities on Bach and Mozart, serve a single objective: to promote a deeper understanding of those two great composers both as supremely gifted creators and as human beings. Author Robert L. Marshall draws on a diverse range of interpretive strategies including both textual and musical criticism. Life and work are treated together, just as they were intermingled for the composers.

After a preliminary historiographical contemplation of the "Century of Bach and Mozart," fifteen numbered chapters follow in roughly chronological succession. Among the issues addressed: the artistic consequences of Bach's orphanhood, his relationship to Martin Luther, his attitude toward Jews, his relationship to his sons, the stages of his stylistic development, and his position in thehistory of music; and, moving to Mozart, the composer's portrayal in Amadeus, his wit, his indebtedness to J. S. Bach, and aspects of his compositional process.

The volume concludes with a factually informed speculation about what Mozart is likely to have done and to have composed, had he lived on for another decade or more.

ROBERT L. MARSHALL is Sachar Professor of Music emeritus, Brandeis University.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Century of Bach and Mozart as a Music-Historical Epoch: A Different Argument for the Proposition
Young Man Bach: Toward a Twenty-First-Century Bach Biography
The Notebooks for Wilhelm Friedemann and Anna Magdalena Bach: Some Biographical Lessons
Bach and Luther
Redeeming the St. John Passion-and J. S. Bach
Bach's Keyboard Music
The Minimalist and Traditionalist Approaches to Performing Bach's Choral Music: Some Further Thoughts
Truth and Beauty: J. S. Bach at the Crossroads of Cultural History
Bach at Mid-Life: The Christmas Oratorio and the Search for New Paths
Bach at the Boundaries of Music History: Preliminary Reflections on the B-Minor Mass and the Late-Style Paradigm
Father and Sons: Confronting a Uniquely Daunting Paternal Legacy
Johann Christian Bach and Eros
Bach and Mozart: Styles of Musical Genius
Mozart and Amadeus
Bach and Mozart's Artistic Maturity
Mozart's Unfinished: Some Lessons of the Fragments
Epilogue (ossia Postmortem). Had Mozart Lived Longer: Some Cautious (and Incautious) Speculations
Bibliography
Notes

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