Books & Music

Our Bach Bookshelf  updated July 2014


During his lifetime Bach assembled a large library of books. Writings on Lutheran theology and the literary work of the day provided a rich source of reference material and thought for the composer. Some volumes are well annotated by him and, in the absence of substantial personal letters and papers having survived, they provide us with some precious insight into the composer’s character.

Our Bach bookshelf is primarily by contemporary scholars and writers and their differing approaches will make  fascinating reading.  Our selection also includes those that will enlighten the reader about the composer’s life, the fashion and taste of the age too, with one that is an absorbing series of chapters on the dissemination of Bach’s music in 19th century England complete with detailed footnotes and references.

NEW: The Aesthetic of Johann Sebastian Bach by André Pirro, translated by Joe Armstrong. Publishers Rowman & Littlefield (June 2014) ISBN:- 9781442232907, £51.95, hardback

The Aesthetic of Johann Sebastian Bach (L’Esthéthique de Jean-Sébastien Bach), by the celebrated French musicologist André Pirro (1869‒1943), was originally published in 1907 and reissued in 1973. It is offered here for the first time in English, as translated by Joe Armstrong. Pirro’s work is based primarily on an examination of the close relationships between language and music in Bach’s vocal works and provides us with an extensive and well-researched lexicon of the expressive resources of Bach and his contemporaries. As a consequence, Pirro’s study also serves as a sound basis for understanding and interpreting Bach’s instrumental works.

Editor: This volume will be of particular interest to collectors of Bach books down the ages.

NEW: The Creative Development of Johann Sebastian Bach Vol II: 1717-1750 Richard D P Jones published by Oxford University Press (2013) 

” From that city of dreaming spires comes, long awaited, the second volume in the most comprehensive study of Bach’s musical development now in print.  …. This book qualifies immediately as a towering work of outstanding musical analysis.”   Peter Smaill writing in London Bach Society’s Journal “Bach Notes” March 2014

J S Bach at His Royal Instrument: Essays on his Organ Works by Russell Stinson published by Oxford University Press (2013) ISBN 978-0-19-991723-5 Price £32.50 Hardback

Bach edited by Yo Tomita, Queen’s University Belfast,  published by Ashgate Publishing (2011) ISBN 978-0-7546-2891-0 Hardback Price £140 (Website Price £126)

The Histories of Heinrich Schütz by Bettina Varwig published by Cambridge University Press (2011) ISBN 9780521197656

Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician by Christoph Wolff
published by Oxford University Press (2002)   ISBN  0199248842

The New Bach Reader Ed. H.T.David & A. Mendel, rev. Christoph Wolff,  published by W.W. Norton (New York, 1998)  ISBN 0393319563

The Life of Bach by Peter Williams, published by Cambridge University Press (2004)    ISBN  0 521 53374 0 (pbk)    also by the same author  J S Bach: A Life in Music published by Cambridge University Press (2007) ISBN 13: 9780521870740

The English Bach Awakening Ed. Michael Kassler published by Ashgate (2004) ISBN 1840146664

The Cantatas of J.S. Bach Ed. Alfred Dürr, Trans. Richard Jones
published by Oxford University Press (2006) ISBN  0198167075

Bach’s Oratorios by Michael Marissen, published by Oxford University Press (2008) ISBN 978-0-19-536717-1  The Parallel German-English Texts with annotations.

The Music of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach by David Schulenberg, published by Boydell & Brewer (2010) ISBN 978 58046 359 1

Bach’s Dialogue with Modernity Perspectives on the Passions by John Butt, published by Cambridge University Press (2010)  Hardback ISBN:9780521883566  Price £68

The Faber Pocket Guide to Bach by Nicholas Kenyon, published by Faber (2011) ISBN 978-0-571-23327-4 rrp £8.99. Reviewed in Bach Notes, Spring 2011 edition



Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter