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Publisher's Summary

Although now beloved and revered by millions as the greatest composer who ever lived, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) was best known in his lifetime as an organist, and was eclipsed in fame as a composer by two of his twenty children. For the last twenty-seven years of his life he was a schoolteacher and choir director whose duties extended to meal supervision and dormitory inspection. Yet throughout his career he composed a vast body of music which is amongst the most joyful, dancing and enrapturing ever written. This portrait-in-sound includes many examples of the music that made him immortal. With compelling narration by Jeremy Siepmann, character portrayals by acclaimed actors, and the interpolation of over twenty-five substantial musical extracts reflecting the development of one of music’s most enduringly awe-inspiring composers, we are transported back three centuries straight into the life of Johann Sebastian Bach. This innovative sense of immediacy is at the heart of this comprehensive audio-biography, depicting the life of a composer whose music is universally admired.

©2002 Naxos AudioBooks (P)2002 Naxos AudioBooks

What listeners say about The Life and Works of Bach

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  • Dr
  • 10-01-2015

A good introduction to Bach's Life and Work

I am very fond of J S Bach
I cannot read music. I find the format of the Naxos Life and Works series well tailored to my needed
There is narration that moves the story along , but there is the words of JS Bach and other members of his family. One learns of his great appetite for work, and his various quarrels with students, town councils and Church administrators.
The focus is Bach and his work-- from his childhood to his death.
There is good linking between the narrative and the other extended musical examples
A first class introduction.
I also like the other volumes in the series

1 person found this helpful

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  • Konstantinos P.
  • 28-10-2020

Excellent book

A good approach to Bach's life, struggles and accomplishments. Also great music examples. I recommend it.

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  • A. Howell
  • 08-12-2019

Very well produced musical biography

This book comes across as slightly dated and occasionally lacking in musical inside, but this is more than compensated for by the very high-quality audiobook production, with excellent readers of the various characters and very enjoyable musical examples. This is a great example of how the audiobook format can in some cases be better than any written word when the subject is music. I’m grateful for the producers and putting this together, and wish there were a much broader library of such types of productions.

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  • Bradford Mercer
  • 12-09-2019

Excellent introduction to Bach.

This is an excellent introduction to J.S. Bach. It recognizes his faith, passion, skill, and timelessness. The narrator, text, and music dovetail nicely. Highly recommended.

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  • JP Bogers
  • 23-05-2015

Interesting

Very interesting
Not to long
Lot of musical performance
Some new information
Clear voice and easy to understand

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  • Roberto
  • 27-03-2020

excellent!

I really enjoyed this introduction to the life of Bach. the mixture of music and information is well balanced and entertaining. first class!

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  • Christine
  • 11-06-2014

Not as good as the others

This edition was a little lacking in content as well as in music choice. Not as good as the others in the series

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  • ThomasOConnor
  • 13-04-2013

The perfect way to learn and listen to Bach

This is audio books at their best! How else to get a great grasp of the life of a famous composer than to hear his story, interspersed at appropriate places by samples of his wonderful music? The book brings JS Bach's life into focus, giving us a realistic picture of his life in the late 1600 and early 1700s in Germany. And just when you might be getting a little too much detail the audio brakes into a sample of his trademark Baroque music. Bliss!

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  • Neil
  • 27-07-2013

Padded with music, short on substance.

Would you try another book written by Jeremy Siepmann or narrated by the narrators?

No - the book was poor in detail and substance being excessively padded with music performances (not even good ones, at that).
I felt that i'd been conned by the book

What could Jeremy Siepmann have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Researched Bach's life, given details, and cut out the padding

How could the performance have been better?

Rather dull vocal delivery, he sounds disinterested. So was I.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Nope, not one.

Any additional comments?

i want my money back.

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