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Reinventing Bach

by Paul Elie
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publishing date: 20120918
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780374281076
  • ISBN: 0374281076

Synopsis

The story of a revolution in music and technology, told through a century of recordings of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach

In Reinventing Bach, his remarkable second book, Paul Elie tells the electrifying story of how musicians of genius have made Bachâ??s music new in our time, at once restoring Bach as a universally revered composer and revolutionizing the ways that music figures into our lives.A 

As a musician in eighteenth-century Germany, Bach was on the technological frontierâ??restoring organs, inventing instruments, and perfecting the tuning system still in use today. Two centuries later, pioneering musicians began to take advantage of breakthroughs in audio recording to make Bachâ??s music the sound of modern transcendence. The sainted organist Albert Schweitzer used wax-cylinder recordings to broadcast Bachâ??s organ works beyond the churches. Pablo Casals, cutting 78s at Abbey Road Studios, made Bachâ??s cello suites existentialism for the living room; Leopold Stokowski and Walt Disney, with Fantasia, made Bach the sound of childrenâ??s playtime and Hollywood grandeur alike. Glenn Gouldâ??s Goldberg Variations opened and closed the LP era and made Bach the byword for postwar cool; and Yo-Yo Ma has brought Bach into the digital present, where computers and smartphones put the sound of Bach all around us. In this book we see these musicians and dozens of others searching, experimenting, and collaborating with one another in the service of Bach, who emerges as the very image of the spiritualized, technically savvy artist.

Reinventing BachA is a gorgeously written story of music, invention, and human passionâ??and a story with special relevance in our time, for it shows that great things can happen when high art meets new technology.


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