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

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

by Michael Marissen

Hardcover(New Edition)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, July 1


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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195114713
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 04/01/1998
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile: 1550L (what's this?)

About the Author

Michael Marissen is Associate Professor of Music at Swarthmore College. His publications include The Social and Religious Designs of J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concertos (1995) and An Introduction to Bach Studies, with Daniel Melamed (Oxford 1998).

Table of Contents

Lutheranism, Anti-Judaism, and Bach's St. John Passion 3(34)
Issues of Method
Some Performance Considerations
Bach's Duties
Lutheranism and Theories of Atonement
Following Jesus, According to the St. John Passion
Who Is Jesus?
Faith and Discipleship
Theology of the Cross
Lutheran Concepts of Jews and Judaism
The Gospel of John
Luther's Polemics
Luther and Hitler
Luther on Jews as "Christ Killers"
Jew-Hatred and the St. John Passion
Olearius and Brockes
Musical Repetition and Symmetry
Who Crucified Jesus?
Where Now?
Annotated Literal Translation of the Libretto 37(34)
Appendix 1: Notes on Anti-Judaism and Bach's Other Works 71(6)
Appendix 2: Musical Examples 77(8)
Works Cited 85(14)
Index of Movements from Bach's St. John Passion 99(2)
Index of Bach's Works 101(2)
Index of Biblical and Other Ancient Sources 103(4)
Index of Names and Subjects 107

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews