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Notes on Bach

Monthly conversations with scholars about the life, times, legacy, and music of J.S. Bach. Sponsored by Bach Society Houston.
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Now displaying: 2018
Dec 18, 2018

This month, we hear from noted Bach scholar and Artistic Director of Bachfest Leipzig, Michael Maul. Join us for a wide-ranging conversation about Maul's book, Bach's Famous Choir, now available in English. We talk about where Bach fit into the eight-century history of the St. Thomas School and how Maul's book helps us understand Bach's time in Leipzig in new ways.

Image result for bach's famous choir

Oct 30, 2018

This month, Dr. Andrew Talle, Associate Professor of Musicology at Northwestern University, tells us about his new book Beyond Bach: Music and Everyday Life in the Eighteenth Century. A former Gilman Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University, Talle’s research focuses on musical culture at the time of J.S. Bach.

Join us to hear about everyday music-making in 18th-century Germany, including the social power of keyboard culture, how gender and class determined musical opportunities, serious vs. frivolous music, and what "regular folks" thought about the music of J.S. Bach--if they thought about it at all! 

Oct 9, 2018

To kick off Season 3 of "Notes on Bach," Dr. Jeff Sposato joins us to discuss his new book Leipzig After Bach: Church and Concert Life in a German City. Listeners will hear about Leipzig's musical life in the century after Bach's death as well as Sposato’s reconstruction of the 1817 mass at Leipzig’s St. Nicholas Church in celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Reformation. Bach Society Houston will perform the reconstruction later this month. Sposato is a Fulbright scholar who has published books and articles on nineteenth-century European music and culture. Sposato is Professor of Musicology and Director of Graduate Studies at the Moores School of Music, University of Houston.

Apr 18, 2018

Join us this month as we hear from Robert and Traute Marshall, co-authors of a new book about Bach Country called Exploring the World of J.S. Bach: A Traveler's Guide. Whether you're planning a trip to Germany or just dreaming about one, you'll enjoy hearing about the Marshalls' many trips to Germany, Bach's relationships with cities such as Leipzig and Dresden, and--as always--the ever-evolving nature of Bach studies. Robert Marshall, a prominent Bach scholar, is Sachar Professor Emeritus of Music at Brandeis University, and Traute Marshall is a translator and author of a guidebook to New England art museums. Exploring the World of J.S. Bach: A Traveler's Guide is available as a paperback, hardcover, or e-book from the University of Illinois Press or Amazon. Listeners, please let Notes on Bach how we're doing by taking our brief survey, and make sure to tune back in this fall for Season 3 of Notes on Bach

Mar 9, 2018

The annual approach to Passion season and Holy Week affords a timely opportunity to consider how the theological context of 18th-century Lutheranism informs Bach's music. This month, we hear from one of the world's foremost Bach scholars who works on this topic: Dr. Michael Marissen, Daniel Underhill Professor Emeritus of Music at Swarthmore College. Michael is a popular public speaker and author of numerous scholarly books and articles along with pieces for the New York Times (click here for a more recent Times article on Bach's Calov Bible) and Huffington Post. Our wide-ranging conversation covers his recent book, Bach and God (published in 2016 by Oxford University Press), the evolving nature of Bach studies, the relationship between early Lutheranism and Judaism, and the tricky (but intellectually necessary) process of attempting to interpret Bach's music relative to the Lutheran theological tradition that he inherited and in which he composed. 

Jan 22, 2018

In this month's episode, we hear from Dr. Matthew Dirst, Professor of Music at the University of Houston's Moores School of Music and founder and Artistic Director of Ars Lyrica Houston, a Grammy-nominated early music ensemble. Matthew gives us a crash course in 18th-century keyboard culture and some insight into his recent role as editor of Bach and the Organ, a collection of essays published by the University of Illinois Press. You'll also hear about Matthew's latest research project, a reconstruction of BWV 1052 and 1053--which most listeners think of as harpsichord concertos--for organ. Look for Matthew's album of these reconstructed organ concertos to come out on Loft Recordings later in 2018.

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