28 July 2009

Commemoration of Johann Sebastian Bach

Today our Synod commemorates Johann Sebastian Bach, beyond dispute (so don't try to argue with me on this) the greatest musical gift that Christ's Church has EVER known. From our Synod's website and the Treasury:

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) is acknowledged as one of the most famous and gifted of all composers past and present in the entire western world. Orphaned at the age of ten, Bach was mostly self-taught in music. His professional life as conductor, performer, composer, teacher, and organ consultant began at the age of 19 in the town of Arnstadt and ended in Leipzig, where for the last 27 years of his life he was responsible for all the music in the city's four Lutheran churches. In addition to his being a superb keyboard artist, the genius and bulk of Bach's vocal and instrumental compositions remain overwhelming. A devout and devoted Lutheran, he is especially honored in Christendom for his lifelong insistence that his music was written primarily for the liturgical life of the church to glorify God and edify his people.

Learning to sing Bach's music is WORK - and more joyous work you'll never engage in. I still remember the joys from Concordia Bronxville: The motets "Jesus, Priceless Treasure" and "Be Not Afraid"; the fabulous Christmas Oratorio. How he painted the words in the music - and wrote them on our hearts forever. Here's a taste that I picked up from my internet friend, Norman Teigen's blog:

HT: Norman's Demesne

And the Dona Nobis Pacem:


Rev. Paul T. McCain said...

I was on a certain Lutheran Internet radio show today that deals with a lot of Issues Etc. and the host admitted, on the air, that he has NO Bach music on his iPod.

I'm still reeling from the shock of it.

William Weedon said...

Appalling! I trust you invited him to repent.

Anonymous said...

(so don't try to argue with me on this)

Not even one teeney weeney argument on this one Pastor Weedon!

Bach IS the greatest!


Chris said...

Fr. Weedon,

Unless I am mistaken, doesn't the Lutheran church also remember on this same day Heinrich Schutz and George Friderich Handel? Of the three, Bach is probably the most talented, but don't discount the other two.

Heinrich Schutz is a particular favorite of mine especially his Psalmen Davids and his Funeral Music. If you haven't heard those in awhile, I urge you to give them another listen.

Weekend Fisher said...

I was thinkin' ... not to diss Bach or anything but really, I like Handel's music at least as well.

And among all the famous Lutheran composers, at least Handel had the courtesy to compose in English. :)

Take care & God bless

Unknown said...


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Anonymous said...

Once a month, during UT's regular college sessions, our new art museum hosts the music department for a noon hour Bach cantata in the atrium. (If the cantata is a short one, they also sing/play something else... like Handel.) :)

Sean said...

herreweghe is my favorite i think

mlorfeld said...


is my favorite Bach piece on Youtube