Bach & Awe by Robert Hart

Bach & Awe

Johann Sebastian Bach: His Life In Pictures And Documents
by Hans Conrad Fischer
Augsburg Fortress Publishers (book & CD edition), 2005
(191 pages, $25.00, hardcover)

reviewed by Robert Hart

The popular notion of the artist and genius is a romantic one: A mixture of the eccentric and Bohemian, given to uncontrollable flights of inspiration, he is above morality, good manners, and humility. We must suffer him, as Wagner’s contemporaries suffered him, for the sake of his gift, a mark of divinity that exudes its own grace, however ungraciously.

People taken in by this notion dismiss the true creative genius of Johann Sebastian Bach, and speak of him as a mathematician. Bach would agr . . .