6 edition of Evening in the Palace of Reason found in the catalog.
February 28, 2006 by Harper Perennial .
Written in English
|The Physical Object|
|Number of Pages||368|
Nevertheless there is a point of particular musical interest about the fugal theme which remains no matter who composed it. Bach, the staunch Lutheran from a working class family, had little in common besides strong-willed obstinacy and a love of music with the enlightened noble, a bisexual and an atheist who admired the great philosophers of his day. The Thirty Years war, which began inleft large swaths of the land devastated; when the contending armies had at last ground each other to an exhausted halt, "a third of the population was dead", Gaines writes, "and the people who remained on the battlefield of Germany - or rather of Germanies, the loose collation of a few thousand now bankrupt dukedoms and princelings - were left by the Treaty of Westphalia to an indefinite future of encirclement by Europe's great powers and consigned to a deranged and hopeless peace. The author does a good job of describing the differences between the music that the two played and composed Although, Frederick had some help with his compositions. I see all of this in Bach. But beneath the biographical counterpoint traced by Gaines is a longer, unfinished duel between two visions of humankind—one that the sensitive and musically inclined Frederick was also fighting within himself.
That blessed release came in When you purchase an independently reviewed book through our site, we earn an affiliate commission. The author also makes a interesting comparison of the creation of canons with that of alchemy, that both were treated with the same amount of reverence and respect. The sparks from their brief conflict illuminate a turbulent age. But this shouldn't surprise anybody.
As night falls on the un enlightened despot, Bach's star begins to rise, and later, he will acquire the veneration his genius merits, his music a perennial reminder that "the light of reason can blind us to a deeper kind of illumination. This intellectual history is also a page-turner. Almost every Russian apart from Dominika and another C. Behind the pomp and flash, Prussia's Frederick the Great was a tormented man, son of an abusive king who forced him to watch as his best friend probably his lover was beheaded.
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We get the quick sketch, rather than the fully-worked portrait. The scenes of them on the job are beyond chilling. Bach was nearing the end of his life - he would die two years later - but was as stubborn and unpolished as he had always been. Ed Myskowski wrote January 3, : Paul T. The mission is completed within four minutes.
The sparks from their brief conflict illuminate a turbulent age. Not content with this tremendous display of musical genius, Frederick went on to invite Bach to make a six-part fugue on the theme.
He was widely read, especially in French literature -he could barely speak German - and was a friend and correspondent of Voltaire.
Too many sopranos? In the other, a devout if bad-tempered old composer of 'outdated' music, a scorned genius in his last years. Gaines is one lively writer, and his ability to keep his narrative moving while elucidating complex ideological cross-currents borders on the magical.
This dual biography details the birth, childhood, education, and adult lives of the two protagonists, with chapters alternating between the two.
Behind the pomp and flash, Prussia's Frederick the Great was a tormented man, son of an abusive king who forced him to watch as his best friend probably his lover was beheaded. Within a month, he sent the king the Musical Offering, one of the masterpieces of the composer's final period — a set of canons, fugues, and other contrapuntal contraptions all on the supposedly recalcitrant Royal Theme.
My speculations on this point of whether or not Bach was accurately depicting his situation is this. Then, at the age of 18, he made his most serious break for freedom, plotting with his friend Lieutenant Hans von Katte, son of a Prussian military family but, like Frederick, a flautist and art-lover, to run away to England and seek the protection of his grandfather, George I.
Twenty years after his death Napoleon, having conquered Prussia, led a group of his officers to Frederick's grave in Berlin. Ultimately the author argues that music of the classical period was meant to pleasant to listen to while the music of the Baroque Period was meant to have a deeper meaning.
When Hannah Archer, a trainee C.
The book is enthralling. I'm going to be receiving soon, "Bach in the Palace of Reason" and I'm looking forward to whatever new light it might shed on the life and times of J.
From his earliest years, despite the violent disapproval of his father, the crazed King Frederick-William I, he had been a lover of music, and in his lifetime composed some pieces for the flute, a few of which are still played. Bach left the court fuming, but in a fever of composition, he used the coded, alchemical language of counterpoint to write 'A Musical Offering' in response.
Almost every Russian apart from Dominika and another C. Peter Smaill wrote January 2, : [To Eric Bergerud] Certainly "Evening in the Palace of Reason" is a great read but not I fear great or original scholarship, though written as if by an expert.
This book describes the juxtaposition of Fredrick the Great and J. Having conducted Bach on a tour of his 15 pianofortes, that new-fangled instrument which Bach distrusted, Frederick presented him with a note theme on which to improvise, a theme so devised - possibly, and if so treacherously, by Carl Bach - as to make contrapuntal variations well-nigh impossible.
All Rights Reserved. Buy this book. Here Gaines comes up short. Using the available evidence there is no harm in and if done responsibly and in moderation it encourages the discussion.Fortunately, there is an historical point of face-to-face contact between the two – exactly one evening, when Frederick summoned a coach-lagged Bach to his Potsdam palace and presented him with the challenge of improvising a three-part fugue on a particularly unpromising subject.
Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment by James Gaines. It's a dual intellectual / musical / political history of Prussia's evil genuius Frederick the Great and JSB.
Book of the Week: Evening in the Palace of Reason BBC Radio 4 FM, 8 February At present this site reflects the contents of the published Radio Times BBC listings. Jan 07, · Evening in the Palace of Reason: Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment by James R Gaines pp, Fourth Estate, £ Set at the tipping point between the ancient and modern world, Evening in the Palace of Reason captures the tumult of the eighteenth century, the legacy of the Reformation, and the birth of the Enlightenment in this extraordinary tale of two men.
Jim Gaines was the first Editor in Chief of People Magazine, as well as the Editor of Time Magazine. His first book, 'Evening in The Palace of Reason' was published in He lives in Paris with his family More about James Gaines.