Giving Thanks with John Birge

by John Birge, Minnesota Public Radio
November 23, 2010

St. Paul, Minn. — With music and stories for Thanksgiving, it's Giving Thanks: a Celebration of Fall, Food, and Gratitude.

New for 2010, two best-selling authors join us at the table:

- Deepak Chopra, celebrated writer on spirituality and wellness. Dr. Chopra has written more than 50 books, read by 20 million people more than 35 languages. He reflects on gratitude in India, his pilgrimage to America, and shares poems of thanks by Rumi.

- Nigella Lawson, British food writer who appears on NPR's Morning Edition, BBC television, and the Food Network. Her cookbooks are in 3 million kitchens. Lawson loves the spiritual aspect of food, talks about the tradition of feasting, and brings along suggestions for turkey leftovers!

Classical music is the heart and soul of Giving Thanks, and this year's selections include Simple Gifts from Yo-Yo Ma, a hymn of Thanksgiving from Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony, the autumnal lyricism of Mark O'Connor's American Seasons, and a cornucopia of Bach. Between the music, no cliches about pilgrims and pumpkin pies. Instead, it's a contemporary celebration of spirit of gratitude.

We'll gather together to celebrate the new US Poet Laureate William S. Merwin, who reads a poem of gratitude. And continue a Giving Thanks tradition: a spellbinding story from actor Charles Laughton, giving thanks for art that connects us all to the creative spirit.

Whether you're early in the kitchen, on the road to a family gathering or relaxing after the feast, Giving Thanks provides the perfect atmosphere for Thanksgiving: the warmth of great music and truly memorable words.

For more information, including playlists, go here.

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  • Flute Concerto No. 1 "La Tempesta di mare" ("Storm at Sea") 3:06 Antonio Vivaldi
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    Patrick Gallois, flute
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  • String Quartet No. 2: Scherzo 3:01 Alexander Borodin
    Emerson String Quartet
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