By Eric Chafe
Bach's cantatas are one of the optimum achievements of Western musical artwork, but stories of the person cantatas which are either illuminating and particular are few. during this booklet, famous Bach professional Eric Chafe combines theological, ancient, analytical, and interpretive methods to the cantatas to supply readers and listeners alike the richest attainable event of those works. A revered theorist of seventeenth-century song, Chafe is delicate to the composer's intentions and to the long-lasting and common features of the track itself.
Concentrating on a small variety of consultant cantatas, in general from the Leipzig cycles of 1723-24 and 1724-25, and particularly on Cantata seventy seven, Chafe indicates how Bach strove to reflect either the dogma and the secret of non secular adventure in musical allegory. reading Bach Cantatas bargains precious info at the theological relevance of the constitution of the liturgical yr for the layout and content material of those works, in addition to a survey of the theories of modality that tell Bach's compositional variety. Chafe demonstrates that, whereas Bach definitely hired "pictorialism" and word-painting in his compositions, his approach to writing song was once a extra complicated amalgam of theological innovations and song concept. concerning the cantatas as musical allegories that replicate the basic tenets of Lutheran theology as proven in the course of Bach's lifetime, Chafe synthesizes a few key musical and theological principles to light up the fundamental personality of those nice works.
This precise and insightful e-book deals an important technique for knowing one of many imperative our bodies of labor within the Western musical canon. it is going to turn out quintessential for all scholars and students of Bach's paintings, musicology, and theological stories.
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Extra resources for Analyzing Bach Cantatas
Lucas Osiander's Funfftzig Geistliche Lieder und Psalmen of 1586, for example, begins with chorales for Advent and Christmas (nos. 1-9), followed by chorales for Easter (nos. 10-13), Ascension Day (no. 14), Pentecost (nos. 15-16), and Trinity Sunday (nos. 17-18), then uses a chorale for the feast day of John the Baptist (June 24) as a pivot to the sacra- The Hermeneutic Matrix 13 ment of Baptism (no. 19), which then becomes the beginning of a catechism sequence (nos. 20-24 comprise chorales on the Nicene Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the communion, respectively).
The- Lutheran "Metaphysical" Tradition 25 Throughout his work Werckmeister affirms, directly or indirectly, the intimate connection between this kind of musical allegory and biblical hermeneutics, founding that relationship on scriptural authority as well as Luther's view of music. 3 In the seventeenth century the allegorizing of the harmonic triad as an emblem of the Trinity in nature reflects the fact that the triad had, since around 1600, been recognized as an entity that could be indicated in the shorthand of figured bass notation.
The overall progression of ideas is from the Old Testament God and the glory of God the creator to His revelation in Jesus (part 1), the community of the faithful, and the anticipation of the afterlife (part 2), the familiar sequence of traditional hermeneutics. Ultimately, the eschatological goal of Cantata 76 and many other Bach works was that of praising God in His own sphere, "Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen," as the Easter Oratorio proclaims, or "Lob, und Ehre, und Preis und Gewalt sei unserm Gott von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit," in the case of Cantata 21, performed on the week following Cantata 76.
Analyzing Bach Cantatas by Eric Chafe