My only comfort: death, deliverance, and discipleship in the music of Bach
In the history of Western music, J. S. Bach is unsurpassed in mastery of technique and profundity of thought. He was also a devout Lutheran with a broad knowledge of Scripture and theology. Given Bach's combination of musical prowess, personal devotion, and theological depth, it is not surprising that his music stands unexcelled among artistic expressions of the Christian faith. With the passage of time, however, many of the essential keys to understanding Bach's music have been lost. My Only Comfort uniquely reconnects modern listeners with Bach's music, enabling them to listen to Bach with renewed understanding and appreciation. After an introduction to Bach, his theological knowledge, his musical language, and the various genres of sacred music in his output, Calvin Stapert leads readers through specific works by Bach that express, interpret, and vivify some of the principal doctrines of the Christian faith. For each work discussed, Stapert provides relevant quotations from the Heidelberg Catechism (a novel and provocative approach to the study of Bach), a literal translation of the text set beside the German original, and textual and musical commentary meant to contribute to a more perceptive and devotional listening to the work.
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Essential and Canonical Bach
Bachs Musical Language
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alto angels aria Bach wrote Bach's music Baroque Baroque music bass begins cadence called canon Cantata 140 choir chorale melody chorale preludes chorale tune chords Christ Christian Christmas Oratorio Christus Victor church comes comfort composer confession continuo Credo cross death descending disciple discipleship dissonances duet Easter eighth notes emphasize faith final French overture fugue Geduld gerne glory God's Gospel lesson Gott hallelujah harmonies heart heaven Heidelberg Catechism Heiland Herz Holy instruments Isaiah J. S. Bach Jesus Johann John Passion key word Komm Kreuz leaps Leipzig listener liturgical Lord lower voices Luther Lutheran major Mass Matthew Passion measures melisma minor motet motive movement oboes octave pastorale peace pedal point piece play recitative resurrection ritornello Sanctus Savior says Scripture shepherds sing sixteenth notes solo soprano stanza stile antico strings style sung symbol tenor theme theological tion triplets trumpet verse violins vollbracht