THE ORATORIO REBORN
Not that modern concepts of nationhood could not be projected on the ancient past. Indeed, such projections—to be blunt, such figments of imaginary history—were the inevitable product and propagator of modern nationalism wherever it appeared. The Biblical Hebrews were enthusiastically cast as protonationalists by Handel and his English oratorio librettists in the mid-eighteenth century for the benefit of an audience now regarded as the first true European nationalists in the modern sense of the word. And it was the spread of modern nationalism in the aftermath of Napoleon's defeat that mainly accounted for the nineteenth-century rebirth of the “Handelian” oratorio in Germany, where it had never thrived before, alongside the nationalistic “Bach revival,” which also began with an oratorio, albeit of a different sort: the St. Matthew Passion, performed in Berlin under the twenty-year-old Felix Mendelssohn, a pupil of Carl Friedrich Zelter (Goethe's intimate), in 1829.
- Citation (MLA):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 3 Volkstümlichkeit." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2014. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-003010.xml>.
- Citation (APA):
- Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 3 Volkstümlichkeit. In Oxford University Press, Music in the Nineteenth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 30 Oct. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-003010.xml
- Citation (Chicago):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 3 Volkstümlichkeit." In Music in the Nineteenth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 30 Oct. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-003010.xml