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.

Harry Christophers
Stu Rosner / Handel and Haydn Society

Handel and Haydn Society Artist Director Harry Christophers talks with host Brian McCreath about Part One of Bach's St. Matthew Passion.

On the program:
St. Matthew Passion:  highlights of Part One (translation) - Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Evangelist (tenor);  Andreas Schmidt, Jesus (baritone);  Ann Monoyios and Barbara Bonney, soprano;  Anne Sofie von Otter, contralto;  Michael Chance, countertenor;  Howard Crook, tenor;  Monteverdi Choir, London Oratory Junior Choir, and English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Kristof Fischer

On the program:

Trio Sonata in G, BWV 1039 - Ensemble Il Quadrifoglio

Cantata BWV 106 Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Actus Tragicus) (translation) - Hannah Morrison, soprano; Meg Bragle, alto; Nicholas Mulroy, tenor; Peter Harvey, bass; Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin, BWV 616 - Simon Preston, organ (Sorø Abbey, Denmark)

Prelude & Fugue in D minor, K. 405/4 (after BWV 877); Prelude & Fugue in D, K. 405/5 (after BWV 874); Prelude & Fugue in E, K. 405/3 (after BWV 878), attr. Mozart - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

For more information about the April 6th concert featuring the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Bach's B minor x 4

Mar 2, 2017
clockwise, from upper right: portrait by E.G. Haussmann (1748); portrait by J.E. Rentsch (c. 1715); statue by C. Seffner (1908); forensic reconstruction by Caroline Wilkinson (2008)
Wikimedia Commons

Last weekend I spent a lot of time with Bach. Over the last four and a half months, I’ve spent a lot of time with Bach. “But you produce a show called The Bach Hour. Of course you’ve spent a lot of time with Bach!”


Yes, well, there is that. But this has been exceptional. Being at four different performances of Bach’s Mass in B minor since October has left me with two takeaways, one of them expected, the other unexpected. Neither takeaway is the, dare I say, cliché, “I heard things in the Mass I had never heard before.”

Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

On the program:

Concerto for Cor Anglais, from Cantata BWV 54 - Albrecht Mayer, oboe; The English Concert

Cantata, BWV 23 Du wahrer Gott und David Sohn (translation) - Dorothee Mields, soprano; Matthew White, alto; Jan Kobow, tenor; Collegium Vocale Gent, Philippe Herreweghe, conductor

Two-Part Inventions, BWV 772-786 - Simone Dinnerstein, piano

courtesy of Cantata Singers

David Hoose, the conductor of Boston's Cantata Singers, joins Brian McCreath for an in-depth look at J.S. Bach's Mass in B minor, featuring a performance with the Leipzig Radio Choir, Staatskapelle Dresden, and conductor Peter Schreier.

For more about the Mass in B minor, visit the Oregon Bach Festival's Digital Bach Project.