recess radio program

3/18/04
Johann Sebastian Bach
    by John Cech

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That's a little from the opening of the award-winning CD -- Mr. Bach Comes to Call from "Classical Kids." It tells the story of Johann Sebastian Bach's return from space to visit that little girl, Elizabeth, while she is struggling through the Minuet in G. He tells her about his life and work, and helps her with her playing. Improbable as it sounds, it's a clever, witty introduction to Bach's music, with wonderful excerpts from some of his most famous pieces.

It's Johann Sebastian Bach's birthday this week. The German composer was born on March 21, 1685, and while he was virtually ignored as a significant composer in his own lifetime, the nursery is now, happily, filled with Bach's music. There's Bach and Baby Bedtime, from Youngheart Music, with its gentle melodies, like the glorious "Arioso" for harpsicord and & cello:

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Other recordings, like those on Baby Bach, from Baby Einstein Music, take some real liberties with the originals. Here's a little from the Flute Sonata in Eb that's now a piece for xylophone.

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Whatever your choice of versions or styles happens to be, there is plenty of Bach to go around, rolling like a brook, which is the meaning of his name in German, through the land of childhood, and helping to create gardens of delight wherever it flows.

Today's program featured the following work:

Copyright 2004 John Cech

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"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."