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J. S. Bach's Leipzig Chorale Preludes Music, Text, Theology by Anne Leahy

J. S. Bach's Leipzig Chorale Preludes Music, Text, Theology

Part of the Contextual Bach Studies Series


J. S. Bach's Leipzig Chorale Preludes Music, Text, Theology by Anne Leahy

Originally composed in Weimar and later revised in Leipzig, J. S. Bach's chorale preludes have been a source of some puzzlement. However, Bach scholar Anne Leahy argues that through the careful examination of the links among the music, hymn texts, and theological sources some answers may be had. In her book, Leahy considers the critical relationship between the texts of the hymns and their relationship to the chorales, outlining a theological pattern vital to fully grasping the guiding philosophy of these compositions. J. S. Bach's Leipzig Chorale Preludes: Music, Text, Theology is ideally suited for Bach scholars and those with a general interest in the intricate relationship between text and music in the composition of religious music.


J.S. Bach's 'Leipzig
chorale preludes include some of his most intensely beautiful works for organ as well as some of the most challenging for the performer to interpret. While these eighteen chorale preludes have received much scholarly attention, they continue to inspire new ideas. The late Anne Leahy

's monograph explores their liturgical purpose and theological meaning in the context of Bach's Lutheran world. Leahy bases her observations on the chorale texts, detailed analysis of the music, and writings by Luther and his followers. Her analysis includes discussion of other music by Bach, mostly vocal works with similar subjects and approaches to setting the text. As background, she highlights commentary from other Bach scholars from Spitta forward. Leahy's comprehensive approach adds another resource for the organist to enrich performance. ... The book... serves as a valuable resource for the organist and student of Bach... Leahy's observations are thoughtful and often original. The American Organist'

About the Author

Anne Leahy (1961-2007) was a leading light in Bach studies and lecturer at the Dublin Institute of Technology Conservatory of Music and Drama. She was the first Gerhard Herz Visiting Professor of Bach Studies at Louisville University in the Fall of 2003. Robin A. Leaver is a renowned musicologist and theologian. Leaver is the author of many works, including A Communion Sunday in Scotland ca. 1780: Liturgies and Sermons (Scarecrow, 2010). He is also series editor of Contextual Bach Studies from Scarecrow Press.

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Book Info

Publication date

10th October 2011


Anne Leahy

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Scarecrow Press


326 pages


Keyboard instruments
Individual composers & musicians, specific bands & groups



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