J.S. Bach – Cantata 7, at the Feast of Saint John the Baptist

Andrea del Verrocchio and Leonardo da Vinci: The Baptism of Christ (c. 1475)

Andrea del Verrocchio and Leonardo da Vinci: The Baptism of Christ (c. 1475)

In the opening chorus we are witnessing the musical manifestation of the baptism of Christ in the River Jordan. Whether one is a believer or not, there is no questioning the genuineness of this faith, and the matchless musical command of its expression. And, this is not self-expression, but an expression of and for the larger community. This movement has the same kind of relentless certainty and intellectual appeal that one finds often in Bach, for example, in the 24th prelude in B minor of the second book of The Well-Tempered Clavier and the alto aria Erbarme dich from Matthäus-Passion—all of which are associated with Christ.

 

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