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Hearing Bach's Passions

Johann Sebastian Bach's two surviving passions--St. John and St. Matthew--are an essential part of the modern repertory. These large, complex pieces are well loved, but due to our distance from the original context in which they were performed, questions and problems emerge. Bach scholar Daniel Melamed examines the issues we encounter when we hear the passions performed today, and offers insight into Bach's passion settings. Rather than providing a movement-by-movement analysis, Melamed uses the Bach repertory to introduce readers to some of the issues in the study and performance of older music, and explores what it means to listen to this music today. For instance, Bach wrote the passions for a particular liturgical event at a specific time and place; we hear them hundreds of years later, often a world away and usually in concert performances. They were performed with vocal and instrumental forces deployed according to early 18th-century conceptions; we usually hear them now as the pinnacle of the choral/orchestral repertory, adapted to modern forces and conventions. In Bach's time, passion settings were revised, altered, and tampered with both by their composers and by other musicians who used them; today we tend to regard them as having fixed texts to be treated mith respect. Their music was sometimes recycled from other compositions or reused itself for other purposes; we have trouble imagining the familiar material of Bach's passion settings in any other guise. Melamed takes on these issues, exploring everything from the sources that transmit Bach's passion settings today to the issues surrounding performance practice (including the question of the size of Bach's ensemble). He delves into the passions as dramatic music, examines the problem of multiple versions of a work and the reconstruction of lost pieces, explores the other passions in Bach's performing repertory, and sifts through the puzzle of authorship. --From publisher's description
Print Book, English, 2005
Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2005
xi, 178 pages ; 22 cm
9780195169331, 9781423720577, 0195169336, 1423720571
Performing forces and their significance. Vocal forces in Bach's Passions ; Singers and roles in Bach's Passions
Passions in performance. The double chorus in the St. Matthew Passion BWV 244 ; Which St. John Passion BWV 245? ; A St. Mark Passion makes the rounds
Phantom Passions. Parody and reconstruction : the St. Mark Passion BWV 247 ; Bach/not Bach : the anonymous St. Luke Passion BWV 246 Klappentext Table of contents View this book online, via DawsonERA, both on- and off-campus This title is also available in print. Click here. Full text available from EBSCOhost: Rutgers restricted
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