Johann Sebastian Bach dominates the field of organ music like no other composer dominates any other repertory. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that Bach's organ works have long attracted scholarly attention. Still, the subject has by no means been exhausted. The sheer number of Bach's surviving organ compositions will always prevent anyone from having the "last word" on the subjects, either the music's stylistic diversity, or its complexity. In addition, Bach's organ works have exerted a profound and lasting influence on later generations, including many of the greatest composers, performers, conductors, critics, and scholars in the whole history of music.
In J. S. Bach at His Royal Instrument
, author Russell Stinson delves into various unexplored aspects of these masterpieces. Drawing on previous research and new archival sources, he sheds light on many of the most mysterious aspects of this music and its reception. Beginning with a critique of the literature, Stinson questions recent hypotheses regarding authorship and provenance of several of Bach's most famous pieces. From there he discusses the music itself, revealing compositional procedures that not only illuminate key aspects of the chorales, but those of the composer's contemporaries and predecessors as well. From there, Stinson turns to reception. From Mendelssohn and Schumann to Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, Stinson shows how Bach's music has remained a part of Western culture for nearly three hundred years. J. S. Bach at His Royal Instrument
casts new light on these foundational pieces of Western music, and is essential reading for students, scholars and fans of Bach, and "the king of instruments."
"A brilliant and enlightening collection of essays. Stinson sets the record straight about some controversial issues, offers a plethora of new and important information, and provides a wealth of data regarding Bach reception in the 19th and 20th centuries. For anyone interested in Bach's organ music, this book is required reading." --Jack Mitchener, Director of the McAfee Institute of Church Music and Associate Professor of Organ, Mercer University
"Russell Stinson has done it again with a book on Bach that every serious organist will benefit from reading. Addressing a variety of issues in Bach scholarship for the first time, the book also studies a wealth of fascinating information on how Mendelssohn, Schumann, Franck, and Elgar utilized the organ music of Bach in their own careers. This new work is a valuable addition to the existing literature on J. S. Bach." --David Higgs, Professor of Organ and Chair of the Department of Organ and Historical Keyboards, Eastman School of Music
"Sets an interesting and important goal--to survey a core area of the repertoire in the light of the ways in which it has been approached since it was written. Stinson does this very well indeed; he has aimed at more than one readership. And has succeeded on all counts." --Classical.net
"Of particular interest is the inclusion of related material--e.g., a study of Eduard Krueger, a true Bach organ fanatic (in the Schumann essay); a comical text for the G minor fugue
opening; and appendixes about Franck's pupils at the Paris Conservatory. For all organ ficionados and scholars...Recommended." --Choice
"A unique contribution to the world of Bach studies... Stinson's book offers many enlightening insights that advance the cause of Bach scholarship and performance." --Early Music America