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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The seen and the unseen: Hidden allegorical links in the Trinity season chorale cantatas of J. S. Bach
by Gingrich, M. Linda, D.M.A., University of Washington, 2008, 146; 3303284
Abstract (Summary)

It has long been recognized that musical elements not easily perceived by eye or ear operate within Bach's larger works and collections, and more recently that these elements appear within certain of his Leipzig cantatas as well. What has hardly been recognized, however, is that these same elements, tantalizingly hidden, work within the cantata cycles and appear to bundle consecutive cantatas into purposeful groups. Bach's second Leipzig cycle in particular, the chorale cantata cycle, is rich in this veiled allegory, the hidden musical and textual components that link individual cantatas together into larger-scale theological narratives driven by the ever-changing face of the church year. Tonalities, forms, number symbolism, instrumentation, motives, symmetries, vocal patterns and the like, unify his chorale cantata cycle on an unseen level, and stretch across weeks at a time to create two-, three-, four-, even five-cantata storylines. This paper explores the unseen connections tucked among Bach's 1724 Trinity season chorale cantatas, and in the process reveals something of their purpose—the service of humanity and the glory of God—and something of Bach's own inner life and imaginative energy.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kaplan, Abraham
School: University of Washington
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: DAI-A 69/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religion, Music, Theology
Keywords: Allegorical, Bach, Johann Sebastian, Chorale cantatas, Germany, Musical allegory, Second cantata cycle, Trinity season
Publication Number: 3303284
ISBN: 978-0-549-49562-8
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