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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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(p.197) Chapter Eight Postlude
Bach's Major Vocal Works

Markus Rathey

Yale University Press

This book has explored Johann Sebastian Bach’s major vocal works, with particular emphasis on their place in the liturgy, the theologies of love and divine presence, and the musical techniques employed by Bach to interpret and highlight the texts that were given to him by his librettist. It has also discussed the life of Jesus as chronicled in Bach’s works, along with the love story between Christ and humanity, bridegroom and bride. In conclusion, it considers Bach’s funeral cantata Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit BWV 106, also known as Actus Tragicus, a lesson in the Lutheran art of dying. It shows that the theological framework remains the same in Actus Tragicus and Bach’s six other works, and especially the presence of Christ as a recurring theme.

Keywords:   liturgy, Johann Sebastian Bach, love, divine presence, Christ, bridegroom, bride, Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, Actus Tragicus, dying

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