The sensational title of this book may well produce a good few raised eyebrows, particularly among Bach scholars, who do not normally encounter discussions on such sensual topics as sex. It at once provokes a number of questions: What does each of these three topics represent? How are they chosen and why are they arranged in this order? Finally, what is their overarching significance for Anna Magdalena’s Notebooks?

The book is a collection of David Yearsley’s essays on topics relating to J. S. Bach’s second wife, Anna Magdalena Bach (1701–60), and her two Notebooks (1722 and 1725). It consists of six chapters plus two smaller pieces, a prologue and a “Coda,”...

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