Commentaries on the Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach

A Selective Guide
Author: Hans-Joachim Schulze
Translated by James A. Brokaw II
Essential writings on Bach and the gateway to an innovative web-based resource
Cloth – $110
Paper – $30
eBook – $19.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 05/07/2024
Cloth: 05/07/2024
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About the Book

Internationally recognized Bach authority Hans-Joachim Schulze authored a 225-part series on the cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach. In this collection, James A. Brokaw II translates a selection of the essays, illuminating a wide range of biographical and cultural features of Bach’s life and creative milieu. Schulze’s lively and engaging discussions provide a wealth of rewarding insights and perspectives focusing on individual cantatas, their texts, and the questions of chronology and context that attend them.

The University of Illinois Press has paired the volume with a special web-based companion overseen by the translator and hosted by the Illinois Open Publishing Network. This online resource includes Brokaw’s translations of all 225 of Schulze’s essays alongside digital tools for searching, sorting, and bundling the commentaries according to date of composition, position within the liturgical church year sequence, and librettist.

* Sponsored by the Ruth and Noel Monte Fund of the American Bach Society Ruth and Noel Monte were deeply devoted to Bach and his music, sensing its great impact on the human brain and culture throughout the world. To them, Bach represents a bright planet appearing in the sky only once, requiring centuries for the human mind to observe and fully comprehend. The Monte Fund has the goal of supporting and promoting this living musical treasure for present and future generations. 

About the Author

Hans-Joachim Schulze is the leading authority on the music of Bach and its source traditions, on which he has authored over 500 books and articles. James A. Brokaw II is an independent scholar and translator.



“Absolute top-of-the-line scholarship. Schulze’s interests and concerns are always interesting and well handled, and well rendered into English by Brokaw. Schulze is an excellent scholar at finding new historical sources and information--indeed, on the wide ranges and types of historical/archival Bach documents, Schulze is by far the greatest authority that there has ever been in Bach studies.”--Michael Marissen, author of Bach against Modernity