Music at German Courts, 1715-1760

Music at German Courts, 1715-1760: Changing Artistic Priorities
Ed. Samantha Owens, Barbara M. Reul, Janice B. Stockigt
The Boydell Press 2015
Paperback. 504pp. ISBN 9781783270583

First published in hardback in 2011, this important book is now available in paperback. With 15 contributors, from Germany, Poland, the United States, Canada, and Australia, it covers the detailed history of the complex world of 15 Germanic Courts, of varying sizes. Many people’s knowledge of such institutions often only comes from the brief background knowledge of Bach’s various tenures in local Courts, before his eventual move to Leipzig. The essays in this book puts Bach’s career into a wider perspective, and one that is relatively little known. The Germanic system of often very small scale princely courts might have made for a complex hierarchy of aristocracy and governance, and some tricky questions of inheritance, but it made for an extraordinary flowering of art and music, as each little domain tried to outdo its neighbour.

Rather like those pub-quiz questions about the hierarchy of angels (ranging from Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones Continue reading