Research seminars

Tom Wilkinson: Perspectives on the nineteenth-century Bach revival

Event details

Speaker: Tom Wilkinson  (University of Edinburgh) 

Date: 14 February 2019

Time: 5.15 - 6.30pm.  

Venue: Lecture Room A, Alison House, 12 Nicolson Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9DF


Felix Mendelssohn’s 1829 performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion was the catalyst for the nineteenth-century Bach revival.  Bach was soon held up to be the ‘father of German music’. Yet in his own day, his compositions were regarded with a mixture of admiration, condemnation, and bafflement.  What happened between 1729 and 1829 to allow such radically different assessments?  My research explores the rapid evolution of artistic ontology in the intervening years.  Themes include the isolation of the self that is associated with Sturm und Drang and Romanticism, and the rise of the interpreting subject in eighteenth-century hermeneutics.  Ultimately, I suggest some ways in which Bach’s music might have appealed to the artistic sensibilities of 1829. 


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Feb 14 2019 -

Tom Wilkinson: Perspectives on the nineteenth-century Bach revival

Tom Wilkinson explores why J. S. Bach's music fitted so well with early nineteenth-century musical sensibilities.

Lecture Room A
Alison House
12 Nicolson Square