The Bach Hour

Sundays 6-7am, Mondays midnight-2am

The virtually limitless well of music by J.S. Bach has always had a prominent place on radio airwaves in Boston. Whether it’s an iconic work like the Toccata and Fugue in D minor or a rarely heard but emotionally riveting church cantata, Bach’s music is a touchstone, returning listeners to a foundation on which so much subsequent music has been built.

The Bach Hour grows out of a tradition begun in the early 1970's by Robert J. Lurtsema of WGBH 89.7 FM.  As one of the earliest sets of the complete Bach cantatas on record (Leonhardt and Harnoncourt) was being released, they became a regular fixture on each Sunday's edition of Morning Pro Musica, Lurtsema's unique daily program.  Now, on The Bach Hour, those cantatas, with the rich and diverse range of performances now available, are heard on the calendar days for which they were written.  Combined with recent and classic recordings of Bach's instrumental masterpieces and occasional interviews with significant interpreters, each week's program offers a chance to connect more deeply with this bedrock composer.

Hear The Bach Hour each Sunday at 6am on 99.5 WCRB.

Listen to The Bach Channel - a continuous stream of Bach Hour episodes - by clicking the down-facing arrow in the gray menu bar, and clicking on "Bach Channel."

Isabelle Faust
Felix Broede

On the program:

Chorale Prelude Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, BWV 645 - Craig F. Humber, organ (Silbermann organ at St. Peter's Church, Freiburg, Germany)

Partita No. 3 in E for Solo Violin, BWV 1006 - Isabelle Faust, violin

Cantata BWV 180, Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele (translation) - Sophie Karthäuser, soprano; Petra Noskaiová, alto; Christoph Genz, tenor; Dominik Wörner, bass; La Petite Bande, Sigiswald Kuijken, conductor


Sep 8, 2016
Marco Borggreve

On the program:

Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV 871, from Book Two of The Well-Tempered Clavier - Edward Aldwell, piano

"Bleibt, ihr Engel, bleibt bei mir!" from Cantata BWV 19 - James Gilchrist, tenor;  English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Morimur - Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004, with selected chorale harmonizations - Christoph Poppen, violin;  The Hilliard Ensemble

Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, Sinfonia from Actus tragicus, BWV 106 (arr. Kurtag) - Gyorgy and Marta Kurtag, piano

Nicolas Poussin, via Wikimedia Commons

On the program:

Gamba Sonata in G minor, BWV 1029 - Steven Isserlis, cello; Richard Egarr, harpsichord

Cantata BWV 101 Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott (translation) - Caroline Stam, soprano; Michael Chance, alto; Paul Agnew, tenor; Klaus Mertens, bass; Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir, Ton Koopman, conductor

Contrapuncti I, IV, & IX, from The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 (arr. Frackenpohl) - Canadian Brass  

J.S. Bach Foundation

On the program:

Partita No. 5 in G, BWV 829 - Murray Perahia, piano

Cantata BWV 168 Tue Rechnung! Donnerwort (translation) - Noemi Sohn Nad, soprano; Antonia Frey, alto; Johannes Kaleschke, tenor; Peter Harvey, bass; Orchestra of J.S. Bach Foundation St. Gallen; Rudolf Lutz, conductor

Chorale Prelude: Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut, BWV 1114 - Gerhard Weinberger, organ (Trost organ at St. Walpurgis Church, Grossengottern, Germany)

Easter Oratorio, BWV 249 (selections) - German Brass  

On the program:

Italian Concerto, BWV 971 - Peter Blanchette and Peter Michelini, archguitars

Cantata BWV 45 Es ist dir gesagt, Mensch, was gut ist (translation) - Robin Tyson, alto; Christoph Genz, tenor; Brindley Sherratt, bass; Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052 - Ramin Bahrami, piano; Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly, conductor