Johann Sebastian Bach: His Life in Pictures and Documents, with CD

Published By: Augsburg Fortress Publishers

Book Category: Non-Fiction, Biography & Autobiography

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Reviewed by Maria Hoeffer

Nearly everyone is familiar with the joyous music of Bach, from the Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring often heard at weddings to Air, the musical ambiance of many fine restaurants. Such smooth and lyrical melodies can put us into an immediate state of calm and tranquility, but what is the source of these treasures? What is the story behind the music?

Hans Conrad Fischer sets out to tell us exactly that through words, pictures and the music itself. In this illustrated biography which includes a CD, Bach's life comes alive in a way not seen before. Listening to the gorgeous music while sifting through the images of Bach's life transports the reader to a time when creating heavenly music was truly the highest form of worship.

Bach was a Lutheran Christian and a mystic. His music is imbibed with devotion and awe of God. Bach's music, during his lifetime and continuing to the present, has been a unifying source of interdenominational worship. The pure melodies are able to transcend divisions within religious communities, as if reaching a unifying connection much deeper than squabbles about doctrine. Today much of Bach's music is used for clearly secular purposes, however Fischer reminds us of the deep Christian roots beneath all of Bach's works.

This beautifully illustrated biography gives a fuller understanding to both the music of Bach and to the man himself. Listening to the CD, while perusing the text and illustrations gives a fully sensuous experience that truly transcends time and place.

Armchair Interviews says: This biography is best enjoyed with a glass of wine while lounging on a luxurious sofa enveloped in the melodic.

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