Josephslegende

I was delighted to find this neglected contribution by Richard Strauss to the musical treatments of biblical stories. [Read more…]

Elijah for In-Choir-Ing Minds

Details in the image above about an upcoming event in Indianapolis, with discussion and some musical foretastes of the upcoming performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah. The work is fascinating for those interested in the intersection of the Bible and music, from its dramatic beginning with Elijah’s curse, to its ending which incorporates a range of scripture. [Read More…]

Andrei Petrov, Creation of the World Suite

The above piece by Russian composer Andrei Petrov is but one of many musical works inspired by the account of creation in Genesis. If you are in Indianapolis, don’t miss the performance tonight of Aaron Copland’s “In The Beginning”! [Read more…]

The Bible in Arnold Schoenberg’s Music

The entirety of Schoenberg’s “Moses und Aron” is on YouTube (just the music, not a staged version of the opera): So too is his Jacobsleiter (Jacob’s Ladder): Both are fascinating works in terms of both their relationship to Schoenberg’s developing artistic vision (often referred to, despite Schoenberg’s objections, as “atonality”) and his own religious views. [Read More…]

Passion According to Mary

Finding music related to the Bible is easy. Coming across a composition in Syriac, on the other hand, is a real rarity. And so I had to draw your attention to this piece by Zad Moultaka. [Read more…]

Creeping Death

Another obvious song to include in a course on the Bible and music is “Creeping Death” by Metallica. If you listen closely to the lyrics, you will not only spot the Exodus story as the background, but will see the specific influence of the movie The Ten Commandments.   [Read more…]

Review of Psalms and Music

My review of Max Stern’s book Psalms and Music is now available in RBL to SBL members. I inadvertently violated the SBL open access policy in sharing my last review on Academia.edu and so I will not be doing so this time. I will say that, while I did have some criticisms to offer (Stern [Read More…]

Jesus and the Traders

Kodály Zoltán’s choral work Jézus és a kufárok (“Jesus and the Traders”), based on the New Testament accounts of the temple incident. [Read more…]

Szymon Laks – Poem for Violin and Orchestra

The composer Szymon Laks‘ music deserves to be better known than it is. So too does his life. The title of his book, Mélodies d’Auschwitz, probably gives you a clue as to why I say that. He responded to the horror of being in the most notorious concentration camp during the Holocaust by making music. [Read More…]

Creation and Creativity

Coming up on February 22nd is an exhibit and performance connected with the seminar on religion, spirituality, and the arts run by Sandy Sasso. It will include a performance of Aaron Copland’s “In The Beginning,” and so I am delighted to be able to get the students from my course on the Bible and music to [Read More…]