The Little Chronicle of Magdalena Bach (1925): Esther Meynell

★★

I have an ongoing ‘merry war’ with a friend of mine about whether Bach or Vivaldi is the better composer. Before you all splutter over your morning cups of Earl Grey, the squabble is primarily founded on an unjust comparison. I point out that Bach surely couldn’t have written a decent storm aria if he’d tried, whereas my friend quite reasonably argues that Vivaldi is nothing but a faint shadow of Bach when it comes to religious music. Anyway, when I spotted that this book was up for review, I thought I’d better show willing and try to understand a little bit more about (and here I quote my friend) ‘the best composer born in 1685’.*

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