Recordings/Discussions
Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Bach Books: Main Page / Reviews & Discussions | Index by Title | Index by Author | Index by Number
General: Biographies | Essay Collections | Performance Practice | Children
Vocal: Cantatas BWV 1-224 | Motets BWV 225-231 | Latin Church BWV 232-243 | Passions & Oratorios BWV 244-249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Lieder BWV 439-524
Instrumental: Organ BWV 525-771 | Keyboard BWV 772-994 | Solo Instrumental BWV 995-1013 | Chamber & Orchestral BWV 1014-1080

Bach Books

Bach in Berlin
By Celia Applegate

Book

B-1

Bach in Berlin: Nation and Culture in Mendelssohns Revival of the St. Matthew Passion (Hardcover)

-

Author: Celia Applegate

Language: English; ISBN: 080144389X

Cornell University Press

2005

HC / 288 pp

Buy this book at: Amazon.com

Book: "Bach in Berlin"

Douglas Cowling wrote (September 21, 2006):
I highly recommend this study:

"Bach in Berlin: Nation and Culture in Mendelssohn's Revival of the St. Matthew Passion"
Celia Appelgate
Ithaca: Cornell, 2005

This is a fascinating study of the social, artistic and political period which saw the first performance of the SMP in 1829. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the development of German aesthetics and nationalism in the 19th century and for the modern place of Bach in musical culture.

The study presents some very interesting facts about the music in the post-Bach period. Applegate suggests that, in the second half of the 18th century, the whole institutional and political structure which supported and gave meaning to Bach's work collapsed. The Lutheran church and the state simply ceased to provide the financial and ideological support for music.

Applegate points out that the seculaization and divorce of the music of Bach from its matrix was already an accomplished fact by 1829: the performance took place in a concert hall before a paying audience not a worshipping congregation, the players and singers were amateurs not state employees, and the conductor was freelance musician who had converted to Lutheranism.

There is a great of interesting material about the rise of choral societies in which middle-class men and women could be the "amateurs" formerly permitted only to arisrocrats.

A tough read but well worth the effort.

Bradley Lehman wrote (September 21, 2006):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< "Bach in Berlin: Nation and Culture in Mendelssohn's Revival of the St. Matthew Passion"
Celia Appelgate
Ithaca: Cornell, 2005
This is a fascinating study of the social, artistic and political period which saw the first performance of the SMP in 1829. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the development of German aesthetics and nationalism in the 19th century and for the modern place of Bach in musical culture. >
Indeed this looks interesting, and I want to read it. Thanks for recommending it. Does it suggest any ties between eliminating movements for social or nationalistic reasons (i.e. non-musical reasons)...other than the piece seeming too long or whatever?

Apparently there's a review of that book in the current issue of Musical Times, by Peter Williams. Details here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/music-cgi/bach2.pl?22=21843

Skipping forward a century, the following book is excellent as a set of essays about nationalism and musicology in the early 20th century Germany: Music and Performance during the Weimar Republic, essays by various authors, edited by Bryan Gilliam: Amazon.com

Douglas Cowling wrote (September 22, 2006):
Brad Lehman wrote:
< Indeed this looks interesting, and I want to read it. Thanks for recommending it. Does it suggest any ties between eliminating movements for social or nationalistic reasons (i.e. non-musical reasons)...other than the piece seeming too long or whatever? >
No. The author stays within the historical limits of her study and does not look ahead to the appropriation of culture by the state in the unification of Germany. However, there is some excellent discussion of the way in which Bach's music was considered epic and timeless at a very, very early stage in the revival which surprised me. The list of people who attended the early perforrmances is fascinating: Heine, Schleiermacher and Hegel. There is also an assessment of Matheson as the father of German musical aesthetics.

Bradley Lehman wrote (September 22, 2006):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< The list of people who attended the early performances is fascinating: Heine, Schleiermacher and Hegel. There is also an assessment of Matheson as the father of German musical aesthetics. >
Any inclusion of Kirnberger in that same regard?

Halfway into the 19th century, there was the phenomenon of various writers copying and re-copying references about the key characters, stemming back to Kirnberger's theoretical work published in _Die Kunst_ of the 1770s. They kept rehashing the same table from his book, with largely the same categories...and it all goes back to Kirnberger's bizarre *temperament* (which is the only way this set of key characters works), the one that has the note A as a raucously tempered wolf note from both D and E. Fuller info about that is in Rita Steblin's book
about key characters, the chapter of Kirnberger vs Marpurg. She has an interesting chapter about Mattheson's polemics, too.

Douglas Cowling wrote (September 22, 2006):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
< Any inclusion of Kirnberger in that same regard? >
Mendelssohn's mother's family had extraordinary connections with the Bach tradition. The great-grandmother knew C.P.E. Bach and a great-aunt studied piano with Kirnberger.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (September 22, 2006):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< Mendelssohn's mother's family had extraordinary connections with the Bach tradition. The great-grandmother knew C.P.E. Bach and a great-aunt studied piano with Kirnberger. >
was it then his maternal grandma who gave the youthful Felix the ms. of the MP? Some of us elsewhere have been wondering which grandma.

Thanks,

Douglas Cowling wrote (September 23, 2006):


Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote:
< was it then his maternal grandma who gave the youthful Felix the ms. of the MP? Some of us elsewhere have been wondering which grandma. >
Mendelssohn's maternal grandmother and her sisters were the Bach connection. They bought manuscripts from CPE's daughter and knew Wilhelm Friedemann. Quite an extrordinary group of women and a direct link for Mendelssohn to Bach.

 

Bach Books: Main Page / Reviews & Discussions | Index by Title | Index by Author | Index by Number
General: Biographies | Essay Collections | Performance Practice | Children
Vocal: Cantatas BWV 1-224 | Motets BWV 225-231 | Latin Church BWV 232-243 | Passions & Oratorios BWV 244-249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Lieder BWV 439-524
Instrumental: Organ BWV 525-771 | Keyboard BWV 772-994 | Solo Instrumental BWV 995-1013 | Chamber & Orchestral BWV 1014-1080

Introduction | Cantatas | Other Vocal | Instrumental | Performers | General Topics | Articles | Books | Movies | New
Biographies | Texts & Translations | Scores | References | Commentaries | Music | Concerts | Festivals | Tour | Art & Memorabilia
Chorale Texts | Chorale Melodies | Lutheran Church Year | Readings | Poets & Composers | Arrangements & Transcriptions
Search Website | Search Works/Movements | Terms & Abbreviations | Copyright | How to contribute | Sitemap | Links



 

Back to the Top


Last update: ýSeptember 23, 2006 ý19:41:13