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��whelming evidence to prove the fact, it would be impossible to believe that both works were by the same Composer. These were followed, in 1 705, by Mattheson's ' Das heilsame Gebet, und die Menschwerdung Christ!' ; and some years later by Brockes's Poem, ' Der fur die Siinde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus/ set to music by Keiser in 1714, by Handel andTelemann in 1716, and by Mattheson in 1718. The general tone of German Music was more elevated by these great works than by anything that had preceded them. That their style should be diametrically opposed to that exhibited in the Italian Oratorios of the period was only to be expected ; for, though the Germans were not averse from cultivating the Monodic Style, they never abetted their Italian contemporaries in their mad rebellion against the laws of Counter- point. The ingenious devices of Polyphony were respected in Germany, even during the first three decades of the 1 7th century, when Italian dra- matic Composers affected to deride them as follies too childish for serious consideration ; and they were not without their effect upon the national style. It is true, they had not long had an opportunity of leavening it ; yet the influence of the Venetian School upon that of Nuremberg, consecrated by the life-long friendship of Giovanni Gabrieli and Hans Leo Hasler, was as lasting as it was beneficial, and. strengthened by the ex- amples of Orlando di Lasso at Munich, and Leonard Paminger at Passau, it communicated to German Art no small portion of that solidity for which it has ever since been so deservedly famous, and which even now forms one of its most prominent characteristics. Had this influ- ence been transmitted a century earlier, it might very well have had the effect of fusing the Ger- man and Italian Schools into one. It came too late for that. Germany could accept the Counter- point, but felt herself independent of the Plain haunt Canto fermo. In place of that she sub- stituted that form of Song which, before the close of the 1 6th century, had already become part of her inmost life the national Chorale, which, ab- sorbing into itself the still more venerable Volks- lied, spoke straight to the hearts of the people throughout the length and breadth of the land. When the idea of the 'Passion Oratorio' was first conceived, the Chorale entered freely into its con- struction. At first it was treated with extreme simplicity accompanied with homophonic har- monies so plain that they could only be distin- guished from those intended for congregational use by the fact that the Melody was assigned to the Soprano Voice instead of to the Tenor. Its clauses were afterwards used as Fugal Subjects, or Points of Imitation, sometimes very learnedly constructed, and always exhibiting an earnestness of manner above all praise. But, however treated, the subject of the Chorale was always noble, and always introduced with a greatness of purpose far above the pettiness of Tiational pride or bigotry. It would seem as if its cultivators had sent it into the world, in those troublous times, as a message of peace a sort of
common ground on which Catholic and Protestant might meet to contemplate the events of that awful Passion which, equally dear to both, is invested for both with exactly the same doctrinal significance. And the tradition was faithfully transmitted to another generation.
The works we have described, and many others by contemporary Musicians of good reputation, gave place in process of time to the still grander creations of the SIXTH PERIOD creations so sublime that two Composers only can claim to be mentioned in connection with them : but those two Composers Karl Heinrich Graun and Johann Seb. Bach cherished the Chorale even more tenderly than their predecessors had done, and interwove it so closely into the con- struction of their Passion Music that it became its most prominent feature, the key-stone of the entire fabric. While still a pupil of the Kreuz- schule at Dresden, and, if tradition may be trusted, before he had completed his fifteenth year, Graun wrote a 'Grosse Passions - Orato- rium,' in which he introduced the melody of ' A eh wie hungert mein Gemiithe' with extra- ordinary effect, and in a way which no other Composer had ever previously attempted, in con- nection with the Institution of the Lord's Supper. His greatest work, ' Der Tod Jesu,' first produced in the Cathedral at Berlin in 1 755, begins with an exquisite setting of 'O Haupt voU Blut und 1 Wunden' in homophonio har- mony, and afterwards introduces five other Me- lodies, mostly treated in the same quiet manner, though one is skilfully combined with a Bass Solo. The Poem, by Rammler, is epic in struc- ture, but is so arranged as to present an effective alternation of Recitatives, Airs, and Choruses. The fugal treatment of the latter is marked by a clearness of design and breadth of form which have rarely been exceeded by Com- posers of any age ; and the whole work hangs together with a logical sequence for which one may search in vain among the Scores of ordinary writers, or indeed among the Scores of any Ger- man writers of the period, excepting Bach him- self. Bach wrote three grand Oratorios, besides many of smaller dimensions which are usually classed as Cantatas. These three were ' Die Johannis- Passion' (1720); 'Die grosse Passion nach Matthaus,' first produced in the Thomas Kirche at Leipzig on Good Friday, 1729; and ' Das Weihnachts Oratorium ' ( 1 734). The Pas- sion according to S. John is composed on a scale so much smaller than that employed for the later work according to S. Matthew, that we think it scarcely necessary to speak of both. The Text of S. Matthew's version was prepared by Chris- tian Freidrich Henrici (under the pseudonym of Picander), and is written partly in the dramatic and partly in the epic form, with an Evangelist the principal Tenor who relates the various events in the wondrous History, but leaves our Lord, S. Peter, and the rest of the Dramatis persona; to use their own words, whenever the Sacred Text makes them speak in their own
I Originally a Volkslied. beginning Mein G'miith 1st mir vwwirni.'