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Bach's Signature

Soli Deo gloria

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (February 7, 2007):
One sees various persons always making a big deal out of Bach's writing Soli Deo gloria.

I am not sure that it is anything more than a rather trivial thing that any good Christian with a little Latin might say upon the conclusion of a work much as any Jew might say shehechiyyanu.

Weber was so overwhelmed by the extremely positive reception of Freischütz that he made a rather ecstatic diary entry of a paragraph which he concluded with Soli Deo gloria. What else is one going to say unless one is Richard Wagner and then one says "I bet God never imagined he would make one as great as I, myself, and me are".

Ed Myskowski wrote (February 7, 2007):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] This is certainly a possibility. When I was a lad, RC Parochial schools taught students to head every single paper with JMJ (Jesus Mary Joseph), sort of the Earthly Trinity, I suppose. Anyway, how much thought and meaning do you think went into that?

For another, and truly deeper, perspective on Bach's spirituality, see James R. Gaines, 'Evening in the Palace of Reason'. Thanks to BCML posters who mentioned it a while ago. As a brief example, (yes, out of context), p.239.

<Given Frederick's neglect of the work, it is comforting to remember that Bach would not have cared whether Frederick liked the Musical Offering or not, and to remember as well that Bach's indifference to Frederick's opinion was not stubborn or arrogant but rooted too deeply in his character even to be considered a matter of principle. <end quote>

Bach was Pietist (personal), more than Lutheran (social), according to Gaines.

 

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Last update: ýFebruary 19, 2007 ý14:57:05