George B. Stauffer is Dean of the Mason Gross School of the Arts and Distinguished Professor of Music History at Rutgers. He is at work on the book Why Bach Matters.

 (December 2015)

Beethoven’s Symphonies: The Revolutions

Max Klinger with his statue of Beethoven, Leipzig, circa 1902
The classical music world has been saturated lately with stories about the impending demise of the orchestra and the repertory it plays. Dwindling audiences and rising costs have forced American orchestras to cut personnel, shorten concert seasons, and even cross over to the “dark side” and play popular works unthinkable …

Why Bach Moves Us

Johann Sebastian Bach; painting by Elias Gottlob Haussmann, 1748
Moving beyond the hagiographies of the past, John Eliot Gardiner presents a fallible Bach, a musical genius who on the one hand is deeply committed to illuminating and expanding Luther’s teachings through his sacred vocal works, but on the other hand is a rebellious and resentful musician, harboring a lifelong grudge against authority—a personality disorder stemming from a youth spent among ruffians and abusive teachers. Hiding behind Bach, creator of the Matthew Passion and B-Minor Mass, Gardiner suggests, is Bach “the reformed teenage thug.”