About the book
In the depths of winter in 1705 the young Johann Sebastian Bach, then unknown as a composer and earning a modest living as a teacher and organist, set off on a long journey by foot to Lübeck to visit the composer Dieterich Buxterhude, a distance of more than 250 miles. This journey and its destination were a pivotal point in the life of arguably the greatest composer the world has yet seen. Lübeck was Bach’s moment, when a young teacher with a reputation for intolerance of his pupils’ failings began his journey to become the master of the Baroque
Published by Little Toller Books
Author on Twitter – @HoratioClare
I found this to be the perfect Sunday afternoon read – whilst listening to Bach! I have to admit to knowing very little about him, or classical music in general other than listening to Classic FM to chill out, before I picked this book up but the way the author tied in his walk following in the footsteps of Bach, who made the journey to Lubeck in 1705, alongside his observations of the wildlife and changes in the scenery over the years was totally absorbing and has made me want to learn more about the composer.
The author went on this walk for a series that Radio 3 were putting together and this book helps you enjoy the journey with him – retracing the steps that the young Bach took in 1705 when he was disenchanted with the restraints placed on him when he was playing at his local church, so he set off to visit another composer in Lubeck to help him learn more. His family were all musicians but were happy to play by the rules – Bach wasn’t!!
It gives time to look back at his childhood and the things he faced during his life – the good and the bad!
The author also adds so much to the journey with his insights on the wildlife of Germany and how the sights have changed since the journey of Bach and some staggering statistics on the loss of wildlife in the area. The author also shares why Bach means so much to him in relation to his battle against depression and to get that background makes the journey even more poignant.
A truly fascinating read.
My thanks to the publishers for the copy they sent my way in exchange for a fair and honest review.