There Is No Time Like God's Time

Karol Berger

in Bach's Cycle, Mozart's Arrow

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780520250918
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933699 | DOI:
There Is No Time Like God's Time

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Musicology and Music History


Show Summary Details


This chapter returns to the Passion's opening chorus to ask why it is here, before the story of the Passion even gets under way, that Bach wants to abolish time. It shows that in the Passion, time is nested within the structurally and ontologically more primordial timeless eternity embodied, as it happens, in what is musically the work's most substantial layer. The story of humanity that is the implied context of Jesus's story possesses the same complex temporality, the same embedding of the linear flow of time within the framework of eternity which people find in Bach's setting. The linear time of human earthly history is not infinite; it had a beginning and will come to an end. “Before” and “after” there is God's infinite time, eternity. It is this fundamental structure of irreversible time embedded in eternity that Bach replicates in the Passion.

Keywords: Bach; Passion; Jesus's story; temporality; linear time; God's time

Chapter.  13135 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.