Something of his Art
In the depths of winter in 1705 the young Johann Sebastian Bach, then unknown as a composer and earning a modest living as a teacher and organist, set off on a long journey by foot to Lubeck to visit the composer Dieterich Buxterhude, a distance of more than 250 miles. This journey and its destination were a pivotal point in the life of arguably the greatest composer the world has yet seen. Lubeck was Bach’s moment, when a young teacher with a reputation for intolerance of his pupils’ failings began his journey to become the master of the Baroque. More than three hundred years later, the writer Horatio Clare set off to recreate this walk, following in Bach’s footsteps. The result of this journey is Something of his Art, an imaginative evocation of what the twenty-year-old composer would have seen and felt on his long journey is a sustained visualisation of the landscape, light and wildlife of early eighteenth century northern Germany. Bach becomes Clare’s walking companion, a vestigial but real presence, as he acutely observes the season and places he passes through.
"Clare's pilgrimage has a vigour, curiosity and vivid emotional range that engagingly summons the spirit of Johann Sebastian." Jane Shilling, Evening Standard "Clare has a fine eye for the character of the landscape through which he travels." Richard King, author of The Lark Ascending "The evocative writing... really makes you walk each step with him." Last Word Book Review "...a book of great erudition, concision and depth" Charlie Connelly, The New European
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