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Bach Books

The Sacred Dramas of J.S. Bach – A Reference and Textual Interpretation

by W. Murray Young





The Sacred Dramas of J.S. Bach –

A Reference and Textual Interpretation

W. Murray Young

McFarland & Company


HC / 213 pp

Slightly OT

Anthony J. Olszowy
wrote (May 13, 2003):
I've just had what I think is the good fortune to acquire a good used copy of W. Murray Young's Bach's Sacred Dramas. (I'm goofing off at the office, so I'm working from memory here). I've had the same author's commentary on the cantatas, and have found it quite useful (though maddeningly quixotic in some respects). Any comments on this Dramas text from my fellow listers?

Aryeh Oron wrote (May 16, 2003):
[To Anthony J. Olszowy] If you like Young's approach to analyzing the cantatas, you may like this book too. As the previous book this one - ' The Sacred Dramas of J.S. Bach - A Reference and Textual Interpretation' - examines the text of Bach's other major vocal works and the relation between the words and the music. The translations included (most of them are complete) are literary and allow you following easily the original text, although the way they are presented is not optimal. I find that interlinear translations (as the translations of Francis Browne) are easier to follow. The analysis of the works makes for nice reading if not too in-depth.

The works included are: the Magnificat, the 4 Passions (SLP, SJP, SMP, SRP), the Masses, the Motets (BWV 225-231 & BWV 118), AMN, the Schemelli collection, Motet movements found in the Bach Cantatas, Chorales in the Christmas Oratorio. There is some overlapping since the analysis included in the chapter on Motet movements from cantatas are derived from the previous book.

Anthony J. Olszowy wrote (May 16, 2003):
[To Aryeh Oron] Thank you, Aryeh. As always, you are a useful fellow to know!

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