Leipzig After Bach: Church and Concert Life in a German City

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


This book examines church music and public concert music in Leipzig, Germany, a city in Saxony, in the period between 1750 (the year Thomaskantor Johann Sebastian Bach died) and 1847 (the year that Gewandhaus orchestra conductor Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy died). The century in between these events was critically important for sacred music and public concert music. During this period, Leipzig’s church music enterprise, a bulwark of orthodox Lutheranism, was convulsed by repeated external threats-a growing middle class that viewed music as an object of public consumption, religious and political tumult, and the chaos of the Seven Years’ War and the invasion of Napoleon. How church and concert life in Leipzig changed because of these forces is the focus of this book. Whereas most European cities saw their public concerts grow out of secular institutions such as a royal court or an opera theater, neither of these existed when Leipzig’s first subscription concert series, the Grosse Concert, was started in 1743. Instead, the city had a thriving church music enterprise that had been brought to its zenith by Bach. Paid subscription concerts therefore found their roots in Leipzig’s church music tradition, with important and unique results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages314
ISBN (Electronic)9780190616953
ISBN (Print)9780190616953
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Church music
  • Felix mendelssohn bartholdy
  • Gewandhaus
  • Johann sebastian bach
  • Leipzig
  • Lutheranism
  • Napoleon
  • Public concert
  • Sacred music
  • Saxony

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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