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Sermon: Bach Vespers – April 12, 2015

The Rev. George Detweiler

Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4

(Note: The musical information in this meditation is from John Eliot Gardiner’s book Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven)

Bach was 22 when he wrote this cantata for his audition in Mühlhausen. This was his second or perhaps third cantata, but the first in which he attempted to paint narrative in music. The success of this cantata and of the audition moved him from the role of a virtuoso organist to that of a daring composer of figural music, and, I would add, ardent promoter of the theology of Martin Luther. (more…)