J.S. Bach

Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts one of the supreme monuments in Western music, and the work that initiated the great rediscovery of Bach’s music when the 20-year-old Felix Mendelssohn conducted it in Berlin in 1829 – the St. Matthew Passion.

Musicians have struggled to determine what J.S. Bach sounded like in his own time for decades. As The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports, The Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia turned back the clock in a different direction on February 8th at Girard College, determining what Bach sounded like in the time of...Mendelssohn.

In recent years, J. S. Bach's music has been embraced by period performers, and played less frequently by big symphony orchestras. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, The Philadelphia Orchestra takes a very modern - yet historical - approach to his music in WRTI's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast on Sunday, February 22 at 1 pm.

The broadcast also features Bach’s Piano Concerto No. 1, and music of Strauss and Mahler.

J.S. Bach’s second-surviving son, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788), was a musical force in his own right. His fame, at least after the mid-1700s, overshadowed that of his now-legendary father. This year, six German cities with ties to C.P.E.’s musical footprint in Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt (Oder), Leipzig, Potsdam, and Weimar are leading a celebration of the 300th anniversary of his birth.   

Join WRTI on Good Friday at noon, for a complete performance of Johann Sebastian Bach's St. John Passion, a work written for Good Friday Vespers service of 1724 in Leipzig. This performance was recorded in concert on Good Friday in 2013 in the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center.

Valentin Radu conducts his Ama Deus Ensemble and features soprano Megan Monaghan, alto Jody Kidwell, tenor Kenneth Garner, and bass-baritone Kevin Deas, and The Philadelphia Boys Choir. This performance is sung in English.

The Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 of Johann Sebastian Bach, performed by the Swiss Baroque Soloists, is featured on CD 1 in the WRTI 60th Anniversary Classical 3-CD set.

The six instrumental works presented by Bach to Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt in 1721 are among the finest musical compositions of the Baroque era. The Third in the set is scored for three violins, three violas, three cellos, and basso continuo, including harpsichord. The Margrave not only never paid Bach for his work, but he failed even to thank him. This third concerto is a highlight of one of the happiest and most productive periods in Bach's life.

Even though he didn't call them the "Brandenburgs" himself, Bach still thought of them as a set. Compiled from short instrumental sinfonias and concerto movements he had already written, Bach re-worked the old music, often re-writing and elaborating where he saw fit, and creating in the process some of the most brilliant and enjoyable of any of his works.

Bach specialist Nicholas McGegan conducts The Philadelphia Orchestra this Sunday, May 19th, 2 to 4 pm, in an all-Bach concert - bringing a special touch to the Orchestra, and throwing the spotlight on several Philadelphia Orchestra soloists.

Concertmaster David Kim, Principal Oboist Richard Woodhams, Principal Horn Jennifer Montone, and Principal Flute Jeffrey Khaner are just some of the stellar players of the Orchestra who will play major roles in a program including:

Listen to our annual broadcast of Johann Sebastian Bach's St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244 on Good Friday, March 29th, a few minutes after 12 noon.

The recording features Karl Richter conducting the Munich Bach Orchestra, Munich Bach Choir, and Regensburg Cathedral Choir. Edith Mathis (Soprano), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Peter Schreier (Tenor), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone), and Matti Salminen (Bass).

Happy Easter from WRTI!
 

Preparing The Chorus For A Master Work

Mar 24, 2013

Music lives at Westminster Choir College at Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey. As WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, the college's Westminster Symphonic Choir has, for almost 90 years, been performing with the world's foremost orchestras under some legendary conductors, including Leopold Stokowski, Arturo Toscanini, Bruno Walter, Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan, Pierre Boulez, Robert Shaw, Kurt Masur and on and on.

Joe Miller is professor of conducting and chair of conducting for organ and sacred music at Westminster Choir College. This week, his Westminster Symphonic Choir performs Bach’s St Mathew Passion with The Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nezet-Seguin, a Westminster Alum.

Hear the complete Christmas Oratorio of Johann Sebastian Bach between December 25th and January 12th. The first part describes the birth of  Jesus, the second the annunciation to the shepherds, the third the adoration of the shepherds, the fourth the naming of Jesus, the fifth (for the first Sunday after New Year) the journey of the Magi, and the sixth (for Epiphany) the adoration of the Magi. 

Listen to the work's six parts on December 25th, 26th, 27th and January 1st at 3 pm, and on Saturday, January 5th, and Saturday, January 12th at 10 am.

Pages