The WTF Bach Podcast

Bonus: How to Detect B.S. (Bad Scholarship)

August 17, 2020

This is the fifth bonus episode.

Well folks, I had a hard time getting this out there. As I sat down to debunk "Evening in the Palace of Reason" by James Gaines, I found myself overcome with the sense of being a bully:

This book, published by none other than Harper Collins (and probably more read than any book by a notable Bach scholar), initially had me enraged with its conclusions about the character of Bach and the reasons for composing such a noble work as 'A Musical Offering' BWV 1079. 

As I sat down to dismiss it however, I found that each sentence about Bach or the music was full of holes, so shrouded in pseudo-intellect, that I found myself overwhelmed with the task of cleaning up a mess far larger than the one about which I was enthusiastic.

Still, while feeling a bit like I was 'taking shots at a toothless tiger', I offer you "The Truth About 'A Musical Offering' " and hopefully the clearest guide for all interested parties on how to identify phony Bach scholarship, pseudo wisdom, and modern narrative.  


Follow me on instagram: I am heavy into posting the solo works for violin and cello on a daily basis: @wtfbach


Thank you, THANK YOU, for listening.



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