Barth, Mozart, & Ecclesiastes

Karl BarthApparently Karl Barth (pronounced Bart) listened to Mozart every day, finding in his music a joy that “overtakes sorrow without extinguishing it, in which the Yea rings louder than the ever present Nay.” (A quote from the foreword of Karl Barth’s book Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart).

Barth, speaking of Mozart in his Church Dogmatics wrote, “He [Mozart] had heard the harmony of creation to which the shadow also belongs but in which the shadow is not darkness, deficiency is not defeat, sadness cannot become despair, trouble cannot degenerate into tragedy and infinite melancholy is not ultimately forced to claim undisputed sway … The light shines all the more brightly because it breaks forth from the shadow. The sweetness is also bitter and cannot therefore cloy (sicken with excess sweetness). Life does not fear death, but knows it well.”

And this is what we will see and feel as we journey through the Book of Ecclesiastes. The light will shine all the more brightly because it will break forth from the shadow.


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