From Francis Schaeffer’s How Should We Then Live? (p. 92):
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750) was certainly the zenith of the composers coming out of the Reformation. His music was a direct result of the Reformation culture and the biblical Christianity of the time, which was so much a part of Bach himself. There would have been no Bach had there been no Luther. Bach wrote on his score initials representing such phrases as: “With the help of Jesus” – “To God alone be the glory” – “In the name of Jesus.” It was appropriate that the last thing Bach the Christian wrote was “Before Thy Throne I Now Appear.” Bach consciously related both the form and the words of his music to biblical truth. Out of the biblical context came a rich combination of music and words and a diversity of unity. This rested on the fact that the Bible gives unity to the universal and the particulars, and therefore the particulars have meaning. Expressed musically, there can be endless variety and diversity without chaos. There is variety yet resolution.
And this is why I love Bach.
7 thoughts on “No Luther, No Bach”
*is happy about this post (as shown in the following sentence)* A post on one of my favorite composers! :) And it’s about history. :D And the reformation. :D The reasons to like this post keep piling up. :) Thanks for posting!
I love the fact that so much music was written as an outpouring of joy from a Christian heart…totally as it should be. :-D
Very true. :D
Very good quote. Just last night my mother was reading a quote by Francis Schaeffer on music also.
I love Schaeffer’s writing. Accessible, yet deep. :)
And this is why I like Schaeffer!