Happy Birthday, Bach: 300 Years of Johann Sebastian Bach (Doubleday & Company, New York): Seymour Chwast is one of New York’s best artists, commercial and otherwise, and the chances are that most of you have seen his work whether you know it or not, since his output includes many magazine covers and posters. Happy Birthday, Bach is a Dolphin Book, published by Doubleday & Company in 1985, the 300th anniversary of J.S. Bach’s birth. It consists of three hundred portraits of the old man by the extremely inventive Mr. Chwast: there’s a Bach alphabet, there’s Bach touring the world, there’s Bach having a drink with Karl Marx and swimming with Mao, there’s Bach break dancing... It’s three hundred years of Johann Sebastian Bach, and it’s delightful. My own humble contributions consist of a sparkling introduction and dozens of captions, intended to be as witty as possible.
—description by Peter Schickele reprinted and updated from The Peter Schickele Rag, #13.
- Illustrated by Seymour Chwast
- Overture by Peter Schickele