Geck, Martin 1936-

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Geck, Martin 1936-


Born March 19, 1936, in Witten, Germany.


Home—Berlin, Germany.


Writer and professor of musicology. Dortmund University, Dortmund, Germany, lecturer, 1967-76, professor of musicology, 1976-2001.


Gleim Literature Prize.



Ludwig Van Beethoven, Rowohlt (Reinbek, Germany), 1996, published as Beethoven, translated by Anthea Bell, Haus Publishers Ltd. (London, England), 2005.

Bach: Leben und Werk, Rowohlt (Reinbek, Germany), 2000, published as Johann Sebastian Bach: Life and Work, translated by John Hargraves, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2006.


Die Vokalmusik Dietrich Buxtehudes und der früe Pietismus, Bärenreiter (Kassel, Germany), 1965.

Die Wiederentdeckung der Matthäuspassion im 19. Jahrhundert, Bosse (Regensburg, Germany), 1967.

Musiktherapie als Problem der Gesellschaft: aus Anlass D. von Mauricio Kagel geleiteten Kölner Kurse f. Neue Musik 1972, Klett (Stuttgart, Germany), 1973.

(With Klaus Ebbecke and Antoinette Hellkuhl) Unsere Geschichte, Unsere Lieder: ein Historisches Konzert Dortmunder Arbeiterchöre im Jahr 1982, B. Marohl Musikverlag (Stuttgart, Germany), 1983.

Wagner, Werk-Verzeichnis (WWV): Verzeichnis der Musikalischen Werke Richard Wagners und Ihrer Quellen, Schott (Mainz, Germany), 1986.

Geschrieben auf Bonaparte: Beethovens "Eroica"—Revolution, Reaktion, Rezeption, Rowohlt (Reinbek, Germany), 1989.

Johann Sebastian Bach: Johannespassion: BWV 245, W. Fink (Munich, Germany), 1991.

Von Beethoven bis Mahler: die Musik des deutschen Idealismus, Verlag J.B. Metzler (Stuttgart, Germany), 1993.

Johann Sebastian Bach: mit Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten, Rowohlt (Reinbek, Germany), 1993.

Wilhelm Feldmanns "Versuch einer kurzen Geschichte des Dortmunder Conzerts, von seiner Entstehung an bis jetzt 1830," G. Olms (Hildesheim, Germany), 1994.

Bachs Orchesterwerke: Bericht über das 1. Dortmunder Bach-Symposion 1996, Klangfarben Musikverlag (Witten, Germany), 1997.

Bach und die Stile: Bericht über das 2. Dortmunder Bach-Symposion 1998, Klangfarben Musikverlag (Dortmund, Germany), 1999.

Martin Geck: Festschrift Zum 65. Geburtstag, Klangfarben (Dortmund, Germany), 2001.

Zwischen Romantik und Restauration: Musik im Realismus-Diskurs der Jahre 1848 bis 1871, Metzler (Stuttgart, Germany), 2001.

Bachs 1. Leipziger Kantatenjahrgang: Bericht über das 3. Dortmunder Bach-Symposion 2000, Klangfarben Musikverlag (Dortmund, Germany), 2002.

Bachs Musik für Tasteninstrumente: Bericht über das 4. Dortmunder Bach-Symposion 2002, Klangfarben Musikverlag (Dortmund, Germany), 2003.

Mozart: Eine Biographie, Rowohlt (Reinbek, Germany), 2005.

Author's works have been translated into English, Romanian, Turkish, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Croatian, French, Italian, and Spanish.


A German professor of musicology with a career spanning forty years, Martin Geck has focused much of his research on the lives and music of some of his native country's most influential composers: Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn, and Richard Wagner. Among Geck's works translated into English, Johann Sebastian Bach: Life and Work generated a strong response from critics. The 752-page volume opens with a section on Bach's professional and personal life and follows with careful analyses of his vocal and instrumental works. In a review of the book for the Weekly Standard, George B. Stauffer wrote that Geck "reconstructs Bach to the fullest extent possible while never losing sight of the music and the magical paradox of its parochial origins and its universal appeal. The book is a pleasure to read." Compulsive Reader reviewer Bob Williams remarked: "In Geck's consideration of the music as well as in his consideration of the life, the Bach of this book is a compelling figure, no longer a shadowy ideal but a man of flesh and blood, … a composer of genius who moved towards his goals in a manner that we can follow, admire, and appreciate." A contributor to Publishers Weekly found that although the book may be "scant on personal details, it is brilliantly all-encompassing on the music." Library Journal critic Barry Zaslow found that the biography "thoroughly examines Bach's music, … offering an accomplished analysis and a plethora of musical examples."



Library Journal, September 15, 2006, Barry Zaslow, review of Johann Sebastian Bach: Life and Work, p. 62.

Publishers Weekly, September 11, 2006, review of Johann Sebastian Bach, p. 42.

Weekly Standard, February 26, 2007, George B. Stauffer, "Bach to the Future: Why Johann Sebastian Appeals to Moderns," review of Johann Sebastian Bach.


Compulsive Reader, (July 26, 2007), Bob Williams, review of Johann Sebastian Bach.