Sons, Family and Pupils

Authored by: Stephen Roe

The Routledge Research Companion to Johann Sebastian Bach

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781409417903
eBook ISBN: 9781315452814
Adobe ISBN: 9781315452807


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The tumultuous history of the last decades of the twentieth century helped reshape Bach studies. The restoration of displaced manuscript and printed sources to their former homes in Germany and the opening up of archives in the former DDR long closed to scholars have added considerably to knowledge of J. S. Bach and his family. The work of the sons, pupils and followers of Johann Sebastian is seen in a new light. This impetus, which shows no sign of flagging, has transformed our view of the Bach family and its Rezeptionsgeschichte. Even before the Berlin Wall crumbled, scholars and researchers on both sides of the Atlantic had begun to examine the lives and careers of the Bach sons more scrupulously and with greater ease: biographies, collections of letters, thematic catalogs and complete editions cascaded from the presses. These were complemented by recordings and performances: works such as the operas of Johann Christian Bach, which had only received a handful of performances even in the 1760s and 1770s, were edited and performed with success on professional stages of Europe and elsewhere. They have now received many more performances in the twenty-first century than in the eighteenth.

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