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Listening to Bach – The Mass in B Minor and the Christmas Oratorio - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Listening to Bach: The Mass in B Minor and the Christmas Oratorio

Daniel R. Melamed


Modern audiences can learn to listen to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B Minor BWV 232 and Christmas Oratorio BWV 248 in ways that reflect eighteenth-century sensibilities and that recognize our place in the tradition of the works’ performance and interpretation. The sacred music of Bach’s time recognized both old and new styles. In the Mass in B Minor, Bach contrasts, combines, and reconciles them to make a musical point. Listeners can also learn to hear musical types and musical topics that were significant in the eighteenth century, including sleep arias, love duets, and secular choral ari ... More

Keywords: Johann Sebastian Bach, Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Christmas Oratorio BWV 248, parody, musical topic, listening, reception, sacred music

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190881054
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190881054.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Daniel R. Melamed, author
Professor of Musicology, Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music