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The Faber Pocket Guide to Bach (Pocket Guide: Music) Paperback – 17 Mar 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (17 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571233279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571233274
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 3.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 271,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

In fewer than 500 pages Nicholas Kenyon has created a valuable addition to the musician's home reference library...much here will be new to many readers...In his foreword, Simon Russell Beale says that Nicholas Kenyon has here offered us a great gift. I'd echo that sentiment.
--Classical Music Magazine, April 9, 2011

Book Description

The Faber Pocket Guide to Bach, by Nicholas Kenyon, is a superb new addition to the highly successful Faber Pocket Guides - all the essentials about one the greatest composers in history.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Since my wife got me the Complete Bach Edition this was just the book I needed to help me work my way through his music. The author covers the life of Bach, the way he's performed today, composers he admired and his family. Then it tackles the music. Seperate parts deal with church music and secular music these are further divided into chapters dealing with the the different types of works. They are also exam the music in chronological order in so far as current research allows.
Nicholas Kenyon also recomends recording for many of the works and I'm sure that you wouldn't go far wrong in following his selections.
Not too scholarly and written with great enthusiasm this book will enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of the works of the JS Bach.
Bach Complete Edition (157 CD, 2 DVD & CD Rom Box Set)The Faber Pocket Guide to Bach
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Essential for any Bach enthusiast. Be warned, though, that this book is likely to cost you a great deal more than the cover price. Sir Nicholas Kenyon lists his top Bach works early in the book. I've got about 20 cantatas on CD and none of mine were in his list, so I'm going to have to spend at least £50 catching up with what I've been missing! Also, if reading the biographical chapters doesn't make you start planning a tour of Thuringia, I'll be surprised. The best thing about this book, though is that the author's enthusiasm is infectious and encourages the reader to explore the subject still further. The tone is simultaneously scholarly and light and although the author describes the book as something to dip into, it's not a difficult extended read. I'm still chuckling at the number of members of the extended family called Johann Christoph Bach!
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I have not had time to finish this yet, but Kenyon really knows his stuff, writes in a clear and digestible way and half way through I think he has at least quadrupled my knowledge of the great man. It's not so much a history (it doesn't claim to be) as a guide in the format of a large number of interesting lists and sections. All manner of little interesting snippets are in this book, which I am reading on the Kindle (and it does not suffer from that). I hope to finish it soon. It's a priority!
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A nice book but unfortunately full of errors and misspellings. Harnoncourt's 1968 recording of the B-minor Mass wasn't for male voices only: he uses female soprano and alto soloists. On the other hand, his 1965 recording of St. John Passion should have been mentioned instead (p. 122). The female soloists of the Mass recording (Emiko Iyama and Helen Watts) are even mentioned on page 150! But there again: the name of the famous boys' choir is Wiener (not Weiner) Sängerknaben, and the last name of their conductor is Gillesberger (not Gillesberg). These kind of errors are to be found on almost on every page. A good editor would have been needed. I sent a list of these errors (tens of them) to the publisher, but never got feedback. So: do not trust the details.
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Like a previous guide in this series, "Haydn", here is a book to which music lovers who love certain composers, in this case J S Bach, will want to return again and again. There is a refreshing personal anecdotage by Kenyon, which communicates his enthusiasms, as well as a wealth of information on the man and his (so many!) wonderful works.
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I have been VERY pleased with the Faber Series of Music on two composers, Bach and Wagner. Both guides are very well organized, the language is clear as opposed to overly abstract and esoteric. This guide is a real asset to "accessibility" to the many types of works of this icon of music. The Faber Guides do what they promise. I plan to purchase more of this series. Included is all of the basic information on the composer in efficient format, an accessible catalogue of music, biographical details and life chronology, and good introductory summaries of all of the major types of works. Recommend highly.
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