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Music in the Castle of Heaven: A Portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach [Kindle Edition]

John Eliot Gardiner
4.9 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (7 Kundenrezensionen)

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“[I]t is hard to imagine what the English maestro John Eliot Gardiner. . . might do to surpass Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven in its commitment, scope and comprehensiveness. . . . [He] has done a masterly, monumental job of taking the measure of Bach the man and the musician.”
      –The New York Times
 
“With Bach we seek the elusive man hiding, perhaps, under the dense, spectacular music. . . .As eloquent a writer as he is a musician, Gardiner brings to his study the invaluable perspective of the practitioner. . . . One of the stars of the revolution over the past 50 years that has brought period instruments into the mainstream of early-music performance. . . . [Gardiner’s] depth of knowledge permeates his writing.”
      –The New York Times Book Review

“Mr. Gardiner writes in the refreshing voice of a man who has studied and performed Bach's music for decades. . . . Like his conducting, the author's writing is lively, argumentative and passionate. He believes deeply in Bach's music and wants to understand each aspect of its construction. . . . Bach's music is one of mankind's greatest achievements, and his genius touches upon matters eternal and profound. His choral music is less well-known than it should be—especially the cantatas, which Gardiner lauds as "gripping musical works of exceptional worth." Spurred by Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven, many listeners will discover them for the first time. In performance and now in print, Mr. Gardiner is Bach's most eloquent champion…”
      –The Wall Street Journal

“It never happens often enough, but now and then, a subject gets the book it deserves. So it is with John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven, a biography so thoughtful, well-researched, and beautifully written that it should satisfy both the well-informed enthusiast and readers simply seeking to become better acquainted with a musical giant.”
      –The Daily Beast

Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven is an inspiring book. . . . [it] is a superb, timely, thought-provoking, authoritative and extremely useful and readable book. It should find its way onto any serious music-lover’s shelves. From there it must often and regularly be taken off and read.”
      –Classical.Net
 
“[I]t is Gardiner’s experience as a conductor that informs so much of this book. Not only does he explain the harmonic, contrapuntal and polyphonic underpinnings of Bach’s music. . . he also comments on these scores from practical experience, having spent countless hours working out instrumental balances and sonorities, textures and dynamics, in concert halls and churches alike.”
      –The Washington Post

“Gardiner presents a nuanced account of the constellation of personal, musical, religious, and cultural forces that shaped Bach’s astonishing body of compositions. He writes with the care of a scholar, the knowledge of an expert musician, and the passion of a believer (in Bach if nothing else).”
      –The Christian Science Monitor

“An erudite work resting on prodigious research and experience and deep affection and admiration.”
      –Kirkus

“Typical John Eliot to combine so much erudition with even more passion and enthusiasm. It made me want to rush and listen to all the pieces whether familiar or unfamiliar. A treasure chest.” 
      –Simon Rattle, principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic

Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven is a unique portrait of one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time by one of the greatest musical geniuses of our own age. John Eliot Gardiner uses his extraordinary immersion in Bach’s music to illuminate Bach the man more brilliantly than in any previous work, and has created his own deeply moving work of art.” 
      –Amanda Foreman, author of A World on Fire
 
“A superb achievement, scholarly, lively, controversial and judicious. Like all great biographies of creative artists it builds a bridge from the past to the present and brings the work to new life.”
      –Ian Bostridge
  
“John Eliot Gardiner’s book is, apart from anything else, a tremendous feat of narrative: he has the rare gift of always putting the camera in the right place. He tells this long and richly involved story in a way that makes everything clear, and sets the life and the music in a historical perspective where every detail is relevant and every comment illuminating. Simply as a biography this is splendid, but the fact that it comes with such a wealth of musical understanding and experience makes it invaluable. I learned an enormous amount, and I know I'll return to it again and again.”
      –Philip Pullman

Kurzbeschreibung

Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the most unfathomable composers in the history of music. How can such sublime work have been produced by a man who (when we can discern his personality at all) seems so ordinary, so opaque - and occasionally so intemperate?



John Eliot Gardiner grew up passing one of the only two authentic portraits of Bach every morning and evening on the stairs of his parents' house, where it hung for safety during the Second World War. He has been studying and performing Bach ever since, and is now regarded as one of the composer's greatest living interpreters. The fruits of this lifetime's immersion are distilled in this remarkable book, grounded in the most recent Bach scholarship but moving far beyond it, which explains in wonderful detail the ideas on which Bach drew, how he worked, how his music is constructed, how it achieves its effects - and what it can tell us about Bach the man.



Gardiner's background as a historian has encouraged him to search for ways in which scholarship and performance can cooperate and fruitfully coalesce. This has entailed piecing together the few biographical shards, scrutinising the music, and watching for those instances when Bach's personality seems to penetrate the fabric of his notation. Gardiner's aim is 'to give the reader a sense of inhabiting the same experiences and sensations that Bach might have had in the act of music-making. This, I try to show, can help us arrive at a more human likeness discernible in the closely related processes of composing and performing his music.'



It is very rare that such an accomplished performer of music should also be a considerable writer and thinker about it. John Eliot Gardiner takes us as deeply into Bach's works and mind as perhaps words can. The result is a unique book about one of the greatest of all creative artists.



SIR JOHN ELIOT GARDINER is one of the world's leading conductors, not only of Baroque music but across the whole repertoire. He founded the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, the Orchestre de l'Opéra de Lyon, the English Baroque Soloists, and the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique. He has conducted most of the world's great orchestras and in many of the leading opera houses. He lives and farms in Dorset.


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4.9 von 5 Sternen
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Meisterlich und enthusiastisch 2. April 2015
Von Delizia
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Genau genommen, ist jenseits der Lebensdaten Johann Sebastian Bachs nicht viel über diesen Giganten der Musik bekannt. Wie hat er gedacht? Was hat ihn getrieben? Nur ein einziger persönlicher Brief (an einen alten Schulfreund) ist überliefert. Dort liest man von Bachs Klagen über die elende Bürokratie in Leipzig und seine schlechte Bezahlung. Aber es gibt ja Bachs Musik, die großen Messen, aber auch mehrere hundert Kantaten, auf die sich diese Biografie besonders stützt. Und wenn man glaubt, von dem Werk auf das Leben schließen zu können (wie es viele Biografen tun), dann kann ein so enthusiastischer Mann wie Gardiner daraus eine superbe Lebensbeschreibung machen.

Der kleine enge Schriftsatz strengt die Augen an, diese Unannehmlichkeit wird aber wettgemacht durch brillante Farbtafeln, siehe z.B. die „Himmelsburg“ auf Tafel 8, von der das Buch seinen Titel nimmt, oder die Abbildungen 12 und 13 der Calov-Bibel, einer opulenten Luther-Übersetzung, die Bach für seine Kantaten gründlich studiert und mit Randbemerkungen versehen hat. Eine dieser gekritzelten Bemerkungen ist denn auch zentral für Gardiner’s Bach. Wo in der Bibelstelle die Rede ist von Musik zum Lobe des Herrn, präzisiert Bach dies am Rand mit einem metaphysischen Glaubensbekenntnis, das auch sein berufliches Credo wird: „NB. Bey einer / andächtigen Musiq / ist allezeit Gott / mit seiner Gnaden= / Gegenwart“. Das bedeutete für Bach, seine eigene Musik könne und müsse Gott für die Musiker und die (singenden) Gemeinde präsent und anwesend machen.

Auch in der Arbeitsweise Bachs erkennt Gardiner ein Prinzip, eine Methode, von Cicero entlehnt: wie viele (alle?
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
"Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven" by John Eliot Gardiner is well-written biography about one of the greatest composers of all time, whose works are an indispensable part of the world's musical heritage.

John Eliot Gardiner is considered one of the composer's greatest living interpreters who grew up in a family that was entrusted keeping the Bach's portrait made by Bach the Elias Gottlob Haussmann during WW II.
Due to interest in the music that was very important in his family, Gardiner has been studying Bach life and works, making him the perfect person to write this kind of biography book.
Also he very early realized that he needs to study and learn performing Bach's music which is why he became a great interpreter of author's pieces performing them ever since.

Gardiner starts his story with Bach's birth in 1685, his orphanage days when he was 9 years old, start of living with his eldest brother, and beginning of his composer career when he was teenager. Author's opinion is that Bach can thank for his success not only obvious great natural talent but also to the living with his older brother who taught him many difficult life lessons.
The story continues with Bach being awarded the position at the Neukirche in Arnstadt when he was only 18 and soon followed Thomas cantorate in Leipzig...

In his book Gardiner also speaks about the organization of Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, very important cultural and musical event that took place in 2000 for the occasion of the anniversary of 250 years of the Maestro's death.
That was very important event due to the first-time performance of Bach's newly found materials that were owned by the communist DDR and therefore unfamiliar to the world public.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Sehr wichtige Buch 3. Juni 2015
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Diese Buch ist kein Biografie, sondern eine vielfachtige portrait über Bachs Musik und Leben. Gardiner schreibt als ein Dirigent und Musikologe.
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3 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Ausgezeichnet 12. Januar 2014
Von Paul Maas
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Sehr aufschlussreiches Buch über Bach, das nicht nur musikwissenschaftliche sondern allgemein kulturelle Einkreisungeen anbietet.
Anregend geschrieben, allerdings: gute Englischkenntnisse erfordert
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