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Bach & Sons

Bach & Sons

By Nina Raine
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback : 9781839040139, 104 pages, June 2021


Johann Sebastian Bach, irascible and turbulent, writes music of sensuous delight and deep religious fervour. He's touchy, he's fabulously rude, he has impossibly high standards (he stabs a bassoonist for playing badly), and he's constantly in trouble with his patrons.

Music is the family business – but the burden of their father's genius weighs heavily on his sons. Wilhelm is brilliant but self-destructive. Tense, industrious Carl is more successful than his father, but knows he is less talented. As the years pass, their rivalry provokes furious arguments about love, God and above all music. What is it for – to give pleasure, like a cup of coffee in the sun, or to reveal the divine order that gives life its meaning?

Beautiful, profound and funny, Nina Raine's play Bach & Sons is a gripping family drama and an anthem to the art that draws us together and sings of our common humanity.


"A bold play of ideas, but also an invitation to tears... stirring and unmissable."

- Telegraph

"Nina Raine's new play is typically sly, in the know and phenomenally eloquent."

- Independent

"Fascinating... volcanic stuff as sweary, sensual Bach is brought to life."

- The Times

"[Bach is a] magnificent monster... a family drama filled with envy, greed, rage and lust."

- Evening Standard