My Only Comfort: Death, Deliverance and Discipleship in the Music of Bachby Calvin R. Stapert
Pub. Date: 01/28/2000
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
In the history of Western music, J. S. Bach is unsurpassed in mastery of technique and profundity of thought. He was also a devout Lutheran with a broad knowledge of Scripture and theology. Given Bach's combination of musical prowess, personal devotion, and theological depth, it is not surprising that his music stands unexcelled among artistic expressions of the Christian faith. With the passage of time, however, many of the essential keys to understanding Bach's music have been lost. My Only Comfort uniquely reconnects modern listeners with Bach's music, enabling them to listen to Bach with renewed understanding and appreciation.
After an introduction to Bach, his theological knowledge, his musical language, and the various genres of sacred music in his output, Calvin Stapert leads readers through specific works by Bach that express, interpret, and vivify some of the principal doctrines of the Christian faith. For each work discussed, Stapert provides relevant quotations from the Heidelberg Catechism (a novel and provocative approach to the study of Bach), a literal translation of the text set beside the German original, and textual and musical commentary meant to contribute to a more perceptive and devotional listening to the work.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION"Essential" and "Canonical" Bach
Bach the Theologian
Bach’s Musical Language
Passions and Oratorios
Mass in B Minor
THE CATECHISM IN BACH’S WORKSPrologue: My Only Comfort
Motet: Fürchte dich nicht
Part I: Death
Chorale Prelude: "Durch Adams Fall"
Cantata 199: Mein Herz schwimmt in Blut
Part II: DeliveranceWhat Kind of Deliverer?
Cantata 61: Nun komm, der Heiden HeilandWhat Must a Christian Believe?
Credo from Mass in B MinorBirth of Jesus
Christmas Oratorio, Part IIDeath of Jesus
The PassionsResurrection of Jesus
Cantata 4: Christ lag in Todes Banden
Part III: DiscipleshipComing-to-Life of the New Self
Three Chorale Preludes on "Dies sind die heiligen zehn Gebot"Anointed to Confess His Name
Cantata 77: Du sollst Gott, deinen Herren, lieben
Cantata 147: Herz und Mund und Tat und LebenAnointed to Be a Living Sacrifice
Cantata 56: Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragenAnointed to Reign with Him Eternally
Cantata 140: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme
"Gloria" from Mass in B Minor
"Sanctus" from Mass in B Minor
"Dona nobis pacem" from Mass in B Minor
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