Bach in Berlin: Nation and Culture in Mendelssohn's Revival by Celia Applegate

By Celia Applegate

Bach's St. Matthew Passion is universally said to be one of many world's very best musical masterpieces, but within the years after Bach's demise it used to be forgotten through all yet a small variety of his students and admirers. the general public rediscovered it in 1829, while Felix Mendelssohn carried out the paintings earlier than a glittering viewers of Berlin artists and intellectuals, Prussian royals, and civic notables. The live performance quickly grew to become the stuff of legend, sparking a revival of curiosity in and function of Bach that has persevered to this day.

Mendelssohn's functionality gave upward push to the inspiration that improving and appearing Bach's track used to be one way or the other "national work." In 1865 Wagner may declare that Bach embodied "the background of the German spirit's inmost life." That the guy so much answerable for the revival of a masterwork of German Protestant tradition was once himself a switched over Jew struck contemporaries as much less amazing than it does us today—a assertion that embraces either the good achievements and the failures of one hundred fifty years of German history.

In this booklet, Celia Applegate asks why this actual functionality crystallized the hitherto inchoate suggestion that tune was once imperative to Germans' collective identification. She starts off with a perfectly readable reconstruction of the functionality itself after which strikes again in time to drag aside a few of the cultural strands that might come jointly that afternoon within the Singakademie. the writer investigates the position performed via intellectuals, reporters, and beginner musicians (she is one herself) in constructing the thought that Germans have been "the humans of music." Applegate assesses the influence on music's cultural position of the renewal of German Protestantism, historicism, the mania for accumulating and restoring, and romanticism. In her end, she appears on the next careers of her protagonists and the lasting reverberations of the 1829 functionality itself.

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