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Johann Sebastian Bach's Christmas Oratorio – Music, Theology, Culture - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Johann Sebastian Bach's Christmas Oratorio: Music, Theology, Culture

Markus Rathey


Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio is one of his most popular pieces. This book is the first thorough study of this masterpiece in English. While giving a comprehensive overview of the Christmas Oratorio as a whole, the book focuses on the cultural and theological understanding of Christmas in Bach’s time and the compositional process that led Bach from the earliest concepts to the completed piece. Traditional Christmas rituals were abolished during the decades around 1700. Instead, Christian devotion focused increasingly on the metaphor of a birth of Christ in the human heart. The cul ... More

Keywords: Johann Sebastian Bach, Christmas, Oratorios, Music and Theology, eighteenth-century piety, Lutheranism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780190275259
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190275259.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Markus Rathey, author
Associate Professor of Music History, Yale Divinity School