Review of Bach and the Counterpoint of Religion: 'Bach Perspectives, Volume 12 : Bach and the Counterpoint of Religion'/ edited by Robin A. Leaver. (Bach Perspectives,no. 12.) Urbana, Chicago, and Springfield: University of Illinois Press, 2018.

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Abstract

The new volume of Bach Perspectives is given the intriguing title Bach and the Counterpoint of Religion. The title of the 2016 meeting of the American Bach Society, in which three of the seven chapters in the volume originate, was more straightforward—“J. S. Bach and the Confessional Landscape of His Time” (p. vii). However, if the contrapuntal analogy of the reviewed publication is to be pursued further,
then one could say that the polyphony here is not only between different parts but also between different hierarchical levels in the social composition. The new volume deals with several complicated tensions: Moravians and Pietists vs Lutheran Orthodoxy, Lutheranism vs Catholicism, Christianity vs Judaism, and sacred vs profane. Even Bach himself would have hesitated to compose such a ricercar à 7, with so many subjects and countersubjects. At the very least, he would have requested the King’s permission to take leave and to work on such an intricate undertaking at home for some time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-67
Number of pages3
JournalFontes Artis Musicae
Volume67
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

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