Bach in Berlin: Nation and Culture in Mendelssohns Revival of the St. Matthew Passion
Celia ApplegateISBN: 080144389X;
Book DescriptionBach?s St. Matthew Passion is universally acknowledged to be one of the world?s supreme musical masterpieces, yet in the years after Bach?s death it was forgotten by all but a small number of his pupils and admirers. The public rediscovered it in 1829, when Felix Mendelssohn conducted the work before a glittering audience of Berlin artists and intellectuals, Prussian royals, and civic notables. The concert soon became the stuff of legend, sparking a revival of interest in and performance of Bach that has continued to this day. Mendelssohn?s performance gave rise to the notion that recovering and performing Bach?s music was somehow "national work." In 1865 Wagner would claim that Bach embodied "the history of theGerman spirit?s inmost life." That the man most responsible for the revival of a masterwork of German Protestant culture was himself a converted Jew struck contemporaries as less remarkable than it does us today?a statement...
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