Christian Anti-Judaism in Baroque Music
25 October 2012
On the occasion of Michael Marissen’s tenure as a Visiting Fellow at the CJCR from September to November 2012, the CJCR held an international colloquium, Christian Anti-Judaism in Baroque Music, on 23–24 September.
Michael Marissen presented work in progress discussing Bach’s treatment in his cantatas of ‘the Jews’ as portrayed in the Gospel of John, focusing especially on Cantata BWV 103.
Jeanne Swack focused specifically on anti-Judaism in the context of Lutheran sacred music in eighteenth-century Hamburg.
The colloquium incorporated a panel allowing early career researchers to present relevant work in progress. Yael Sela-Teichler discussed K W Ramler’s Sulamith und Eusebia, throwing an intriguing light on Berlin and Prussia in the period immediately following the publication of Dohm’s path-breaking treatise on the ‘improvement’ of the Jews.
Former MSt student and CJCR alumnus Harry White discussed the topic of his MSt dissertation, Bach’s Psalm settings in his first Leipzig cantata cycle.
Building on her recent monograph, The Music Libel against the Jews, Ruth HaCohen presented new research on Cruel Jewish Mothers in seventeenth-century Italian cantatas, focusing especially on Cesti’s Madre Ebrea and Scarlatti’s Sara.
During the concluding roundtable discussion, speakers and participants alike acknowledged how useful the colloquium’s cross-disciplinary approach had been and how crucially the engaging and productive discussions had depended on the fact that the colloquium enabled speakers to develop thick accounts of the material under scrutiny.
The preparation of carefully edited proceedings is under way.