Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Calendar of Saints: Bach, Handel and Purcell (1)

Twice a week I post a quote from saints from the Episcopal Calendar of Saints that week. They are to be meditative and mindful, playful and thought inducing. I hope they are helpful in your spiritual journeys.

Johann Sebastian Bach,
George Fredrick Handel,
Henry Purcell
July 28

Johann Sebastian Bach, widely regarded as the greatest of all composers of music for Christian worship, was born in 1685 in Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany, into a family of distinguished musicians. From 1723 until his death in 1750 he was at Leipzig, where he taught, conducted, sang, played, and composed. He had 20 children, of whom nine survived him, four of whom are also remembered as composers.

In addition to his secular music, Bach wrote a considerable amount of music for worship. He drew on the German tradition of hymn-tunes, and arranged many of them as cantatas, with elaborate choir settings for most stanzas, and a plain four-part setting for the final stanza, to be sung by the congregation with the choir. Bach was not just a musician. He was a Christian, and a preacher of the Gospel.


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