Morning Glories - Bach and Beyond

March 18, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Every weekday morning at 10 a.m., the hosts at Classical MPR play a stand-out work based on the theme for the week. We call them Morning Glories. Bach's birthday falls this week. We'll celebrate on Morning Glories with five of Bach's works, and contrast each one with a "Bach" piece by another composer.

Monday

Bach: Harpsichord Concerto No. 3
Clara Schumann: Fugues on the name of Bach

In German musical notation, "H" is a note (we'd call it B natural) — so Bach's last name can be spelled out, musically, and used as a theme, as Clara Schumann does here.

Tuesday

Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 3
Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 1

Heitor Villa-Lobos wrote a whole series of "Brazilian Bach" pieces, using baroque forms like preludes and arias, but with a personal twist.

Wednesday

Bach: Motet, Singet dem Herrn
Shostakovich: Preludes & Fugues (selected)

It was Bach's Well-tempered Clavier that inspired Dmitri Shostakovich to write a series of preludes and fugues in all the keys.

Thursday (Bach's Birthday)

Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4
Nystedt: Immortal Bach

Today is J. S. Bach's birthday. We'll offer a modern Norwegian composer's choral tribute to the "immortal Bach."

Friday

Bach: Two-Part Inventions
Neil Gladd: Three Bach Rags

We know that J. S. Bach had a sense of humor — maybe he would have enjoyed seeing some of his themes reworked in ragtime, for mandolin ensemble.

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