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Bach's Major Vocal WorksMusic, Drama, Liturgy$
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Markus Rathey

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300217209

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300217209.001.0001

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Divine Glory and Human Suffering

Divine Glory and Human Suffering

The St John Passion BWV 245

Chapter:
(p.72) Chapter Four Divine Glory and Human Suffering
Source:
Bach's Major Vocal Works
Author(s):

Markus Rathey

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300217209.003.0004

This chapter examines the St John Passion and its account of human suffering in the Gospel according to John in relation to a view of the death of Christ as a demonstration of his divine glory. It first provides some historical background information on the St John Passion before analysing it in greater detail. It then considers the images of Abraham Wiegner’s book Nöthige Freytags-Arbeit (Necessary Occupation on a Friday) as a visual commentary on the events of the Passion of Christ and how to understand meditative texts in Bach’s passions. It also describes the St John Passion as a piece for the liturgy and goes on to explore the Theology of Glory in the Gospel according to John. Finally, it looks at the close connection between texts and contexts in the St John Passion and explains how the chorale setting combines the Lutheran understanding of death as sleep with the highly individual perspective of the Passion of Christ in the St John Passion.

Keywords:   death, St John Passion, human suffering, Christ, divine glory, Passion of Christ, passions, liturgy

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