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Lutheranism, Anti-Judaism, and Bach's St. John Passion : With an Annotated Literal Translation of the Libretto - Michael Marissen

Lutheranism, Anti-Judaism, and Bach's St. John Passion

With an Annotated Literal Translation of the Libretto

Hardcover

Published: 1st March 1998
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Bach's St. John Passion is surely one of the monuments of Western music, yet performances of it are inevitably controversial. In large part, this is because of the combination of the powerful and highly emotional music and a text that includes passages from a gospel marked by vehement anti-Judaic sentiments. What did this masterpiece mean in Bach's day and what does it mean today?
Although bibliographies on Bach and Judaism have grown enormously since World War II, there has been very little work on the relationship between the two areas. This is hardly surprising; Judaica scholars and culture critics focusing on issues of anti-Semitism commonly lack musical training and are, in any event, quite reasonably interested in even more pressing social and political issues. Bach scholars, on the other hand, have mostly concentrated on narrowly defined musical topics. Strangely, therefore, almost no scholarly attention has been given to relationships between Lutheranism and the religion of Judaism as they affect Bach's most controversial work, the St. John Passion. Through a reappraisal of Bach's work and its contexts, Marissen confronts Bach and Judaism directly, providing interpretive commentary that could serve as a basis for a more informed and sensitive discussion of this troubling work. Consisting of a long interpretive essay, followed by an annotated literal translation of the libretto, a guide to recorded examples, and a detailed bibliography, this concise text provides the reader with the tools to assess the work on its own terms and in the appropriate context.

"The most important and lasting item to have emerged from this Passion season...may turn out to be a little book of great complexity by Michael Marissen....[It] provides a model of how to deal with a piece of music grown controversial: not through avoidance, not through bowdlerization, but by supplying the richest and most provocative context in which to understand and interpret the work."--James R. Oestriech, The New York Times "An excellent interpretive essay....Marissen provides valuable historical and theological context for both the text and the music."--Choice "A remarkable book and unusually even-handed treatment of a difficult topic."--E. Ann Matter, University of Pennsylvania "The most important and lasting item to have emerged from this Passion season...may turn out to be a little book of great complexity by Michael Marissen....[It] provides a model of how to deal with a piece of music grown controversial: not through avoidance, not through bowdlerization, but by supplying the richest and most provocative context in which to understand and interpret the work."--James R. Oestriech, The New York Times "An excellent interpretive essay....Marissen provides valuable historical and theological context for both the text and the music."--Choice "A remarkable book and unusually even-handed treatment of a difficult topic."--E. Ann Matter, University of Pennsylvania "Without blaming the Jews either as a religion or as a people, Bach's Saint John Passion gives a clear answer to the question, 'Who killed Christ?'"--Religious Studies Review "...the book provides material for sustained conversations, an ongoing learning experience, a literal understanding of the text, and skillful musical exegesis."--Journal of Religion

Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Lutheranism, Anti-Judaism, and Bach's St. John Passionp. 3
Annotated Literal Translation of the Librettop. 37
Notes on Anti-Judaism and Bach's Other Worksp. 71
Musical Examplesp. 77
Works Citedp. 87
Index of Movements from Bach's St. John Passionp. 99
Index of Bach's Worksp. 101
Index of Biblical and Other Ancient Sourcesp. 103
Index of Names and Subjectsp. 107
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195114713
ISBN-10: 019511471X
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 124
Published: 1st March 1998
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.77 x 16.51  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.33