By Bach, Johann Sebastian; Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Felix; Applegate, Celia
Bach’s St. Matthew ardour is universally stated to be one of many world’s ideal musical masterpieces, but within the years after Bach’s dying it was once forgotten via 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 today. Mendelssohn’s functionality gave upward thrust to the idea that improving and acting Bach’s track used to be in some way "national work." In 1865 Wagner might declare that Bach embodied "the historical past of the German spirit’s inmost life." That the fellow so much chargeable for the revival of a masterwork of German Protestant tradition was once himself a switched over Jew struck contemporaries as much less outstanding than it does us today—a assertion that embraces either the good achievements and the mess ups of one hundred fifty years of German history.
during this booklet, Celia Applegate asks why this actual functionality crystallized the hitherto inchoate thought that track used to be significant to Germans’ collective identification. She starts with a perfectly readable reconstruction of the functionality itself after which strikes again in time to tug aside a number of the cultural strands that might come jointly that afternoon within the Singakademie. the writer investigates the function performed by means of intellectuals, newshounds, and beginner musicians (she is one herself) in constructing the inspiration that Germans have been "the humans of music." Applegate assesses the effect on music’s cultural position of the renewal of German Protestantism, historicism, the mania for gathering 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