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.

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

Philippe Herreweghe
Michiel Hendryckx

Harvard University's Christoph Wolff describes Bach's approach to transforming works by other composers.

On the program:

Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G, BWV 1049 - Daniel Stepner, violin;  Christopher Krueger and Roy Sansom, recorders;  Boston Baroque, Martin Pearlman, conductor

Cantata BWV 12 Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen (translation) - Daniel Taylor, alto;  Mark Padmore, tenor;  Peter Kooy, bass;  Collegium Vocale Gent, Philippe Herreweghe, conductor

Concerto in A minor, BWV 593 (after Vivaldi) - Gerhard Weinberger, organ (Zacharias Hildenbrandt organ at St. Wenceslaus Church, Naumberg, Germany)

On the program:

Triple Concerto in A minor, BWV 1044 - Rachel Brown, flute;  Pauline Nobes, violin;  Richard Egarr, harpsichord;  Academy of Ancient Music, Andrew Manze, director

Cantata BWV 42 Am Abend aber desselbigen Sabbats (translation) - Yukari Nonoshita, soprano;  Robin Blaze, counter-tenor;  James Gilchrist, tenor;  Dominik Wörner, bass;  Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki, conductor

Ton Koopman and Amsterdam Baroque
courtesy of the artist

On the program:

Three Chorale Preludes: Erstanden ist der heil'ge Christ, BWV 628, Erscheinen ist der herrliche Tag, BWV 629, and Heut triumphiert Gottes Sohn, BWV 630 - Simon Preston, organ (Klosterkirke, Soro)

Orchestral Suite No. 4 in D, BWV 1069 - Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Andrew Parrott, conductor

Cantata BWV 31 Der Himmel lacht!  die Erde jubilieret (translation) - Barbara Schlick, soprano; Guy de Mey, tenor; Klaus Mertens, bass; Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Chorus, Ton Koopman, conductor

Sinfonia from Easter Oratorio BWV 249 (arr. Empire Brass) - Empire Brass; Douglas Major, organ (National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.)

Wikimedia Commons

On the program:

Suite No. 5 in C minor for solo cello, BWV 1011 - Pieter Wispelwey, cello

Cantata BWV 182 Himmelskönig, sei willkommen (translation) - Malin Hartelius, soprano; Nathalie Stutzmann, alto; James Gilchrist, tenor; Peter Harvey, bass; Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

See video from Pieter Wispelwey's Bach Cello Suites recording

(The image above [courtesy Wikimedia Commons] shows column detail from the Nikolaikirche, Leipzig, which is modelled on palms.  The theme of palms is prevalent in the architecture of the Nikolaikirche, which, with the Thomaskirche, is one of the churches served by Bach between 1723 and 1750.  The Nikolaikirche also played a pivotal role in the fall of the Communist regime of East Germany in the 1980's.)

Anne Akiko Meyers
Vanessa Briceño-Scherzer / courtesy of the artist

Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers talks about Bach's music and her recording entitled "Air," on which she plays both parts of Bach's Double Concerto.

On the program:

Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F, BWV 1047 - Maurice Andre, trumpet;  Janos Rolla, violin;  Maxence Larrieu, flute;  Bernard Schenkel, oboe;  Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra

Cantata BWV 131 Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir (translation) - Regine Jurda, alto;  Maximilian Kiener, tenor;  Franz Schlecht, bass;  Arcis-Vocalisten Munich and L'Arpa Festante Baroque Orchestra, Thomas Gropper, conductor

Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV 1041:  III. Allegro assai - Anne Akiko Meyers, violin;  English Chamber Orchestra, Steven Mercurio, conductor

Concerto in D minor for Two Violins, BWV 1043 - Anne Akiko Meyers, violin 1 & 2;  English Chamber Orchestra, Steven Mercurio, conductor

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