Book Review: J.S. Bach's Musical Offering by Hans T. David
This post is about Hans Theodore David's seminal book, J.S. Bach's Musical Offering of 1945.
David was the first, I believe, to figure out that Bach had an organizational scheme in mind with The Musical Offering: Previous to his work, most musicologists thought that the collection was a casual, even sort of random, collection of fugues and canons with a sonata for transverse flute thrown in. Dr. David presents, quite convincingly, evidence that there is a specific order to the pieces, and that this order reveals a very sublime and balanced plan.
What really sets this book above most works concerned with large works or collections, however, is the analysis. David's style is quite vivid and easy to follow - you'll want a study score like my little Eulenberg edition - and not much escapes his gaze.
So, if you want some serious insights into BWV 1079, look no further. This is for advanced students, obviously, but with that caveat, I can't think of any better way to increase your enjoyment and understanding of The Musical Offering.