12/01/2019 - Bach Against Modernity with Michael Marissen

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By All Souls Adult Forum, All Souls Unitarian Church, and New York City. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Bach Against Modernity with Michael Marissen Many scholars and music lovers hold that Johann Sebastian Bach is a "modern" figure, as his music seems to speak directly to the concerns of today’s listeners. These two lectures will suggest that by 18th-century standards of what was considered modern — to exalt reason, to exalt human achievement, to exalt religious tolerance, to exalt cosmopolitanism, and to exalt social progressiveness — Bach actually promoted pre-modern views. We should therefore be on the ethical alert for a kind of cultural narcissism in which we miscast Bach in our own ideological image and put forward that image in support of our own agendas. Michael Marissen is Daniel Underhill Professor Emeritus of Music at Swarthmore College, where he taught from 1989 to 2014. He has also been a visiting professor on the graduate faculties at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania. His publications include "The Social and Religious Designs of J. S. Bach's Brandenburg Concertos" (Princeton, 1995), "Lutheranism, anti-Judaism, and Bach's St. John Passion" (Oxford, 1998), "Tainted Glory in Handel's Messiah" (Yale, 2014), "Bach & God" (Oxford, 2016), and essays in "Harvard Theological Review," "The Huffington Post," "Lutheran Quarterly," and "The New York Times."

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