Bach in Berlin: Nation and Culture in Mendelssohn¿s Revival of the St. Matthew

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$35.73
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $29.94
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 33%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (6) from $29.94   
  • New (3) from $33.84   
  • Used (3) from $28.38   

Overview

Bach's St. Matthew Passion is universally acknowledged to be one of the world's supreme musical masterpieces, yet in the years after Bach's death it was forgotten by all but a small number of his pupils and admirers. The public rediscovered it in 1829, when Felix Mendelssohn conducted the work before a glittering audience of Berlin artists and intellectuals, Prussian royals, and civic notables. The concert soon became the stuff of legend, sparking a revival of interest in and performance of Bach that has continued to this day. Mendelssohn's performance gave rise to the notion that recovering and performing Bach's music was somehow "national work." In 1865 Wagner would claim that Bach embodied "the history of the German spirit's inmost life." That the man most responsible for the revival of a masterwork of German Protestant culture was himself a converted Jew struck contemporaries as less remarkable than it does us today—a statement that embraces both the great achievements and the disasters of 150 years of German history. In this book, Celia Applegate asks why this particular performance crystallized the hitherto inchoate notion that music was central to Germans' collective identity. She begins with a wonderfully readable reconstruction of the performance itself and then moves back in time to pull apart the various cultural strands that would come together that afternoon in the Singakademie. The author investigates the role played by intellectuals, journalists, and amateur musicians (she is one herself) in developing the notion that Germans were "the people of music." Applegate assesses the impact on music's cultural place of the renewal of German Protestantism, historicism, the mania for collecting and restoring, and romanticism. In her conclusion, she looks at the subsequent careers of her protagonists and the lasting reverberations of the 1829 performance itself.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Bach in Berlin is a wonderful piece of scholarship from a leading historian of German national identity. . . . It is not so much an account of the revival itself, but instead an examination of how educated Germans (the Bildungsbürgertum) learned to view music as a fundamental component of German culture and how they saw Bach, especially in his vocal music, as the epitome of German music: serious, profound, religious. Applegate tells the story brilliantly, traversing disciplinary boundaries with virtuosic ease. . . . Stunningly original, well-written, and judicious in its handling of historical and musicological controversies, Bach in Berlin is an engaging, first-rate book that should be on the reading list of anyone with interests in nineteenth-century music and German history."—Anthony J. Steinhoff, H-Germany, February 2006

"Exemplary. . . . Applegate arranges her material elegantly around an account of the 1829 performance itself, supported by a detailed examination of the circumstances in which it took shape, and discusses how these illuminate an emerging German culture. . . . The story of the revival of the St. Matthew Passion is people by vivid characters. Among the principals are Mendelssohn, Schinkel and Goethe, supported by Zelter and Fasch and the actor Eduard Devrient, but the evocation of place and period is made more lively by Applegate's fascination with the coteries surrounding them."—Richard Coles, Times Literary Supplement, 9 March 2007

"It is easy to enjoy Applegate's fascinating and flawlessly written book, which abounds in colorful prose and into which a myriad of well-chosen and superbly translated quotations are woven. Every page is engaging."—Mark-Daniel Schmid, Nations and Nationalism, Vol. 13, No. 2 (2007)

"Bach in Berlin is a major work: original, very wide-ranging, gracefully argued, and beautifully organized. Celia Applegate has a subtle intelligence and perfect pitch as a writer. This wonderful book should be read by historians, musicologists, and anyone who wants to understand how music came to assume such a central place in German national identity."—David Blackbourn, Harvard University

"Celia Applegate's enthralling book is a major contribution not just to the reception of Bach but also to our understanding of the formation of German national identity."—Tim Blanning, University of Cambridge

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801443893
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 901,143
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)