After following a number of discussions on this forum that have seemed to end with the conclusion that modernism in classical music is the result of the 'death of God' in the last 150 years or so, I am left feeling a little confused. It seems to me that it is rather surprising the number of composers both within Romanticism and Modernism that have been deeply inspired by Christian spirituality, rather than by the ruling ideas of secularism and atheism.
As a Christian myself, I find that this music resonates deeply with me. One question that keeps coming back to me is: Why are all these composers either Catholic or Orthodox? There are many Catholic composers - from Elgar and Bruckner to Messiaen and Penderecki. There are also a number of composers deeply influenced by Orthodox spirituality - for example Part and Tavener - even possibly Rachmaninov and Stravinsky. I recently followed up a lead on Petr Eben from this forum, and found his music very interesting - and found out he was a Catholic.
Does anyone know of any Protestant composers of the last 150 years or so, or do I have to go back to Bach? I know that Vaughan Williams wrote a lot of music influenced by English hymns - and edited music for the Anglican Church, while all his life remaining an agnostic. He did a great service to Anglican Church music - but it would be difficult to say that his music is influenced by Protestant spirituality.
This question has interested me for some time, and I would be very grateful for any answers....
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