On the 250th anniversary of the composer's death, this volume offers an in-depth look at the "Great Eighteen" organ chorales, among the most celebrated works for organ, and a milestone in the history of the chorale. Addressed to organists, scholars, and general listeners alike, this lucid and engaging book examines the music from a wide spectrum of historical and analytical perspectives.
Stinson examines the models used by Bach in conceiving the original pieces, his subsequent compilation of these works into a collection, and his compositional process as preserved by the autograph manuscript. Himself an accomplished organist, Stinson also considers various issues of performance practice and concludes with a discussion of the music's reception--its dissemination in manuscript and printed form, its performance history, and its influence on later composers. Completely up-to-date and presenting a wealth of new material, much of it translated into English for the first time, this study will open up fresh perspectives on some of the composer's greatest creations.