A Square Dance in Heaven

For Martin Luther, music, with its power to move emotions, was an “inexpressible miracle” second only to Theology. When people engage in music, said Luther, singing in four or five parts, it is like a “square dance in heaven.” For Heart and Soul, The Rev Lucy Winkett, Anglican priest, singer and Bach enthusiast, takes a musical tour of the Reformation.

The programme opens in the Georgenkirche in Eisenach, Germany, where Bach was baptised and both Luther and he were choirboys, separated by two centuries. Luther’s ideas about music were to have a decisive influence on its development in Germany. Indeed, as Lucy finds out, the dominance of German music from the 17th to 19th centuries would not have happened without him.

The Lutheran Church, with its hymns and chorales, was the seedbed for the choral and liturgical works of Germany’s greatest composers. No Luther, no Bach. It’s that simple.

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27 minutes

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Sunday 21:32 GMT
BBC World Service except East and Southern Africa, West and Central Africa