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Celebrate Holy Week on WRTI

Masaaki Suzuki conducting Bach Collegium Japan in a performance of Bach's 'St. Matthew Passion'
courtesy of the artist
Masaaki Suzuki conducting Bach Collegium Japan in a performance of Bach's 'St. Matthew Passion'

Spring is here, that wonderful feeling of hope and renewal is in the air — and Holy Week is upon us. Join us on WRTI for the most beautiful and inspiring music all week long, and for Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Every day from April 3 to 7, Breakfast with Bach (at 8 a.m.) with John Scherch will feature music that J.S. Bach wrote for Holy Week and Easter. Throughout the week you’ll also hear pieces composed for or otherwise related to Holy Week, including works by John Tavener, Francis Poulenc, Maurice Duruflé, Pablo Casals, Franz Joseph Haydn, Gregorio Allegri, Tomas Luis de Victoria, Richard Wagner and more.

On Good Friday — April 7, noon to 3 p.m. — join us for a complete performance of Bach's St. Matthew Passion, by Bach Collegium Japan. Recorded in 1999, this concert was conducted by Masaaki Suzuki, featuring soloists Nancy Argenta, Robin Blaze, Gerd Turk, Makoto Sakurada, Peter Kooij, and Chiyuki Urano.

Bach Collegium Japan celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2020, as well as the 25th anniversary of its St. Matthew Passion recording. The orchestra celebrated in part with a new version of the piece, but also with a series of video interviews about Bach's opus.

WRTI's Album of the Week will be a new interpretation of the St. Matthew Passion, by Danish composer Bent Sørensen with the Norwegian Soloists' Choir and Ensemble Allegria under the direction of Grete Pedersen.

Finally, tune in on Easter Sunday to hear a special presentation of Handel's Messiah from 3 to 6 p.m. Meg Bragle is your host for a program that features Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music and The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, with sopranos Judith Nelson and Emma Kirkby, alto Carolyn Wakinson, tenor Paul Elliott, and bass David Thomas.

It will be followed by more music for the occasion, including works by Jean L'heritier and Eugene Gigout and excerpts from Bach's Easter Oratorio.

From everyone at WRTI, we wish you and yours a meaningful Good Friday and a joyous Easter filled with love.