Cover image for The new Bach reader : a life of Johann Sebastian Bach in letters and documents
The new Bach reader : a life of Johann Sebastian Bach in letters and documents
David, Hans T. (Hans Theodore), 1902-1967.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, [1999, c1998]

©1999, ©1998
Physical Description:
liv, 551 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
General Note:
Rev. and enl. ed. of: The Bach reader. Rev. ed. 1966.
Johann Sebastian Bach : a portrait in outline -- Bach's life in his own writings and other documents -- Early biographical documents on Bach -- Bach as viewed by his contemporaries -- Bach in the second half of the Eighteenth Century -- Forkel's biography of Bach (1802/1820) -- Bach in the Romantic era -- Appendix : Money and living costs in Bach's time.
Added Uniform Title:
Bach reader.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML410.B1 D24 1998C Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Reference-Music

On Order



Through hundreds of letters, family papers, anecdotes, and records, the Bach Reader established a new approach to biography by offering original documents in impeccable translations. In The New Bach Reader, Christoph Wolff has incorporated numerous facsimiles and added many newly discovered items, reflecting the current state of scholarship about the composer's life and music. The readings in this volume provide an accurate and vivid picture of Bach's world and of his far-reaching influence.

Author Notes

He is a William Powell Mason Professor of Music at Harvard University, is coauthor of the Bach Compendium.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Since its first publication in 1945, Bach Reader has been the single English collection of letters and documents relevant to Bach's life. The four-volume Bach-Dokumente is so scholarly in its presentation that it is inaccessible to general readers. The revised Bach Reader (CH, Apr'67) added a 40-page supplement, but the present revised and enlarged edition, put together by arguably today's most important Bach scholar, far exceeds the usual updated version of older works. In addition to more than one hundred new documents, the volume includes Wolff's new essays for sections one and seven, a fascinating insert of manuscript pages, and the expected research update. Wolff integrates these features into David and Mendel's original splendid work in a seamless way. This reviewer cannot overemphasize the value of this collection of letters and documents, either as a text or as a reference work in any respectable library. In addition, the great variety of the readings and the directness of the translations and notes make this collection appealing to anyone wanting to read an exceptional biography or wanting to understand the context for a musical life. A must for all collections. J. P. Ambrose; University of Vermont

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vi
Preface to The New Bach Readerp. vii
Preface to the First Edition of The Bach Reader (1945)p. xi
Bibliographical Abbreviationsp. xiv
Conspectus of Parts I-VIIp. xv
Chronologyp. xli
Part I. Johann Sebastian Bach: A Portrait in Outlinep. 1
Part II. Bach's Life in His Own Writings and Other Documentsp. 29
Part III. Early Biographical Documents on Bachp. 279
Part IV. Bach as Viewed by His Contemporariesp. 309
Part V. Bach in the Second Half of the Eighteenth Centuryp. 355
Part VI. Forkel's Biography of Bach (1802/1820)p. 415
Part VII. Bach in the Romantic Erap. 483
Appendix Money and Living Costs in Bach's Timep. 527
Bibliographyp. 531
Indexp. 533