Keep Calm and Play Bach

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Many people hear classical music selections for the first time at the cinema. Some of us first heard Johann Sebastian Bach’s Keyboard concerto No. 5 in the Woody Allen film “Hannah and Her Sisters”. The second movement was featured in a scene with Michael Caine and Barbara Hershey. It was the only movement from the concerto featured on the soundtrack album. But there are three movements in all, and they’ll all spectacular.

If Top Forty radio stations existed in the 1700′s, they would have played orchestral suites. Orchestral suites were all the rage then. There are 135 suites for orchestra by Georg Philipp Telemann still in existence, and it is known that he wrote hundreds more!   Johann Sebastian Bach, however, wrote only four. But they are amazing works. The second suite features the flute as the primary instrument. Bach gives the flutist some fun virtuosic tunes to show off the musician’s talents.

If you want more Bach, check this site every Friday, when the Netherlands Bach Society will add a new recording of one of Bach’s 1,080 works.

Featured Album: Dinnerstein Plays Bach

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Bach called his inventions “An honest guide…” for lovers and students of the clavier. Simone Dinnerstein’s latest recording features inventions and sinfonias of Bach, and it’s our Featured Album this week on Classical 90.5.

Exploring Music: St. Matthew Passion

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It’s only one of two surviving Passion settings by Bach (he may have written 4-5), first heard in 1727 and not heard again until over 100 years later when Felix Mendelssohn presented Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in Berlin. This week Bill McGlaughlin dives into the St. Matthew Passion on Exploring Music (Weekdays at 7pm).

in 2011, the Berlin Philharmonic and Simon Rattle presented a compelling, semi-staged version of the St. Matthew Passion directed by Peter Sellars. It was also released it on DVD and Blu-ray.

Featured Album: Jansen Plays Bach

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If you’re going to record an album, you might as well hand-pick the people who will play with you. That’s what Janine Jansen did for her latest recording of Bach: she chose the players, including her cellist brother and harpsichordist father.

Chris Thile

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While in town for his concert at the Bomhard Theater, in support of his new album, Chris Thile dropped in our Fall Membership Drive to play and talk Bach.