B ach might be john eliot gardiners godfather a few centuries removed gardiner actually grew up under the eye of the bewigged lutheran cantor a portrait of him had been entrusted to gardiners . Four months to read this book some brilliant things here but also very frustrating gardiner strongly believes that bachs religious music specifically the prodigious cantata cycles the st john and st matthew passions and the b minor mass are at the absolute center of bachs accomplishment and identity. For a music lover equipped with a time machine one of the first destinations would have to be the city of leipzig in the 1720s over the course of several years in the st thomas church you . John eliot gardiners book is not intended as a straight biography so much as a thematic examination of bach the composer as man and musician. But i have not yet read john eliot gardiners music in the castle of heaven today one of my students gave me a copy as a gift ive been aware of this book for some time now and am anxious to begin it im wondering if any of the group have read it and what their thoughts about it might be
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