This volume draws together a collection of Robin A. Leaver’s essays on Bach’s sacred music, exploring the religious aspects of this repertoire through consideration of three core themes: liturgy, hymnology, and theology. Rooted in a rich understanding of the historical sources, the book illuminates the varied ways in which Bach’s sacred music was informed and shaped by the religious, ritual, and intellectual contexts of his time, placing these works in the wider history of Protestant church music during the Baroque era.
Including research from across a span of forty years, the chapters in this volume have been revised and updated for this publication, with several pieces appearing in English for the first time. Together, they offer an essential compendium of the work of a leading scholar of theological Bach studies.
Table of Contents
1. Bach’s Cantatas and the Liturgical Year
2. Bach’s Music in the Context of the Liturgy
3. Bach’s Agnus Dei Compositions
4. Bach’s Parody Process: From Cantata to Missa
5. Bach and the Cantata Controversy in the Early Eighteenth Century
6. Bach and Johann Christoph Olearius
7. Bach’s Christ lag in Todesbanden (BWV 4): Hymnology and Chronology
8. Bach’s Orgelbüchlein.
9. Bach and the Hymnic Aria.
10. Bach and the Letter Codes of the Schemelli Gesangbuch.
11. Bach and Pietism
12. Bach, Gesner, and Johann August Ernesti
13. Bach and Erdmann Neumeister
14. Bach’s Clavierübung III
15. Bach and Anniversaries of the Reformation.
Robin A. Leaver is Professor emeritus of sacred music, Westminster Choir College, Princeton; currently visiting professor at the Institute of Sacred Music, Yale University, and Honorary Professor at Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland. He has written the program notes for the Bach Choir of Bethlehem since 1984 and contributes from time to time to the program books of the Bach Collegium Japan. Past president of the American Bach Society, Dr. Leaver is the editor of monographs in the series Contextual Bach Studies, and the General Editor of The Yale Journal of Music and Religion, and editor of The Routledge Research Companion to Johann Sebastian Bach (2016). His other recent Bach studies include contributions to Exploring Bach’s B-Minor Mass (2013), which he co-edited with Yo Tomita and Jan Smaczny; the Bach-Jahrbuch (2013); Bach: The Journal of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute (2014), and Bach Perspectives 10 (2016).
Daniel Zager is Associate Professor of Musicology and Associate Dean of the Sibley Music Library at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester. His chapters and articles have appeared in numerous publications including Orlando di Lasso Studies, Orlandus Lassus and His Time, Current Musicology, and Notes.