Part of the WFMT Radio Network

Bach Sleeps in on Sundays

Bach spent most of his life in service to the Lutheran Church and his God, but he did write secular music, too. Here we focus on a five year period of Bach’s life, the time in which he worked for Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Kothen. The cello suites, the violin sonatas and partitas, and the Brandenberg concerti were all composed by Bach in this five year period.

Program 1

This week Bill considers the brief but creative period of time in which Johann Sebastian Bach worked not for the Lutheran church, but for Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Kothen. We begin with a glimpse into Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, his solo cello pieces and the first of the Brandenburg Concertos

J.S. Bach: St. Matthew Passion (excerpt)
Decca 421 177

Vivaldi: Winter fr. The Four Seasons (excerpt)
English Concert/Pinnock; Standage, v.
Arch 400045

J.S. Bach: Partita No. 3 in E Major (excerpts)
Hahn, v.
Sony 62793
3:29, 6:35, 1:50

J.S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue in E-flat Minor fr. The Well-Tempered Clavier
Schiff, p.
Lon 414388

J.S. Bach: Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major (excerpts)
Casals, vc.
EMI 61028

J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F major, BWV 1046
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center/Shifrin
Delos 3185

Program 2

In this program, Antonio Vivaldi enters the scene. Bill considers Vivaldi’s influence on the musically inclined Prince Leopold and J.S. Bach. We also dip back into the Brandenburg Concertos

Vivaldi: Concerto No. 11 in D Major, RV 565
English Concert/Pinnock
Archiv 423094

Vivaldi: Concerto No. 12 in E Major, finale (excerpt)
English Concert/Pinnock
Archiv 423094

J.S. Bach: Concerto for Harpsichord in C Major, BWV 976
Katsaris, p.
Sony 66272
:18, 2:30

J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, BWV 1051, finale
English Concert/Pinnock
Archiv 413629

J.S. Bach: Ciaccona fr. Partita No. 2 in d minor, BWV 1004
Perlman, v.
EMI 49483

J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4
Musica Antiqua Köln/Goebel
Archiv 423116

Program 3

As absurd as it may sound to us, there was a time when Johann Sebastian Bach fell out of style. We take a look at the Bach revival led by Felix Mendelssohn in Leipzig around 1830, as well as Bach's own influences. Guest Paul Moravec, the 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner in classical music composition, stops by to weigh in on Bach in the second half of the program.

Corelli: Concerto Grosso, Op. 6 No. 9 in F major, I & II
English Concert/Pinnock
Archiv 423 626-2

Handel: Concerto Op. 6 No. 2 in F major, I & II
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
DG 447 733-2

J.S. Bach: Sonata for Violin in a minor (excerpt)
Milstein, v.
DG 453901

J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, BWV 1048, finale
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/Marriner
Phil 400 076-2

J.S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue in B minor fr. The Well-Tempered Clavier
Preston, org.
DG 427668

J.S. Bach: Toccata & Fugue in d minor (excerpt)
Manze, v.
HM 907250.51

Program 4

As we continue with Bach’s time with Leopold, we listen to a fascinating back and forth between violin and harpsichord. We return to Bach’s first suite for solo cello and finish, of course, with the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5.

J.S. Bach: Partita No. 1 in B-flat major, BWV 825 (excerpt) 
Gould, p.
Sony 87767

J.S. Bach: Sonata in b minor for violin & harpshichord, BWV 1014 (excerpt)
Laredo, v.; Gould, p.
Sony 52615

J.S. Bach: Cello Suite No 1 in G major, BWV 1007
Casals, vc.
EMI 61028

J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050 
English Concert/Pinnock; Standage, v.
Archiv 413 629

Program 5

While Bach worked under the patronage of Prince Leopold, he undertook the task of properly tuning the harpsichord, concluding with the creation of The Well-Tempered Clavier. Bill returns to another of Bach’s pieces for solo cello and we finish the week with the Brandenburg Concerto No. 2.

J.S. Bach: Prelude & Fugue in C# minor fr. The Well-Tempered Clavier
Schiff, p.
Lon 414388

J.S. Bach: Suite for Cello No. 4 in E-flat Major (excerpts)
Rostropovich, vc.
EMI 55364

J.S. Bach: Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord No. 4 in C minor, BWV 1017
Podger, v.; Pinnock, hps.
Channel Classics 14798

J.S. Bach: “Erbarme dich” fr. St. Matthew Passion (excerpt)
CSO/Solti; von Otter, ms.
Lon 421 177

J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, BWV 1047
CSO/Levine; Herseth, tpt.; Magad, v.; Peck, fl.; Still, ob.
RCA 61365

J.S. Bach: Prelude & Fugue in E major fr. The Well-Tempered Clavier
Schiff, p.
Lon 414388


The Exploring Music streaming website is supported by Mr. & Mrs. William Gardner Brown and the Richard P. and Susan Kiphart Family.  
You have opened up the world of Classical Music to me, where previously, it seemed too complicated.
Steffen Demeter
This is simply one of the very best radio programmes in the medium!...The study of the people, the times, and the events that inform the music we otherwise enjoy and even, heaven forbid, take for granted, brings the entire world of the music and the composer to life.
Walther Davies
There isn't a program you broadcast on Exploring Music" that isn't of interest. I find them all engaging. It is a combination of variety of subject, intellectual curiosity and your obvious enthusiasm which characterize your satisfying programs.
Michael Sanders
It’s a great way to re-engage myself with consciousness before heading off to work.
I Love this program! I am in 7th grade and I am the complete opposite of the other kids. I am 4th chair in the orchestra and I love to read. But most of all, I LOVE classical music!
Claudia Wertz
Your show has helped open my mind and heart to this world of music, and every show I hear confirms my place in music and gives me new ideas for where I'd like to go with it in the future….I grew up with classical music as a child and always held it in my heart, but I didn't have the confidence to be a good student (or a good violinist.)
Christine Anderson
Listening to you is almost interactive.You invite us in with so many well modulated dramatic and informative comments, enticing, enthusiastic interpretations, and coherent, beautiful presentations. It's a privilege to follow you into the musical space you create.
Sally Rosenbaum
I just love this program. It is soothing and comfortable at the end of the day. I find his comments interesting, but they aren't so dragged out that there is very little music. The balance of both is just right.
Jean Quay
Newsletters Thank You!