Program 161
"Swingling Bach"


MUSIC: Bach: opening of Little Organ Fugue performed by The Swingle Singers [Virgin Classics 50999 966956 2 3, CD 2, track 20] [under the following]

Hello and welcome to Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman.

This is the second hour that I’m going to devote to the music of the British-based, multi-national a capela group called The Swingle Singers. The first was devoted to the music of Mozart; this hour will be devoted to the music of Bach. Once again you’ll have eight singers — two each of sopranos, altos, tenors and bass baritones — covering between them the whole of the vocal and “instrumental” range. And, once again, I’ll go back and forth between the Swingle Singers’ unique interpretations of the composer and the composer’s original scoring.

MUSIC: ends

Le’t start with the Chorale from Bach’s Cantata Number 140 performed by the Swingle SIngers followed by the original Bach scoring as performed by Concentus musicus Wien conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt. The first recording is from a set of four Swingle SIngers compact discs on the Virgin Classics label. The second is from a boxed set of 60 CDs containing Bach’s complete sacred cantatas on the Teldec label.

MUSIC: Bach: Chorale from Cantat No. 140 performed by The Swingle Singers [Virgin Classics 50999 966956 2 3, CD 2, track 4] [3:15]

MUSIC: Bach: Chorale from Cantata No. 140 performed by Concentus musicus Wien conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt [Teldec 2564 69943-7, CD 43, track 17]
[3:59]

The Chorale from Cantata No. 140 by J.S. Bach. First you heard the Swingle Singers’ version, then the original orchestration as performed by Concentus musicus Wien conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

You are listening to “Swingling Bach” on this hour of Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman.

The Swingle Singers was founded by an American from Mobile, Alabama, Ward Swingle, in Paris, France, in 1962. Their first hit album, “Bach’s Greatest Hits,” won two Grammy Awards in 1963 for best choral performance and best new artist. The group won a total of five Grammy Awards for their early releases.

They were based in France from 1962 until 1973, when the group disbanded and Ward Swingle moved to London. They have remained in London ever since but have consisted of different singers at different times. The current group consists of five singers from the United Kingdom and one each from the United States, Canada, and Germany. Their most recent CD was released in 2009.

The one American is not Ward Swingle, who is in his eighties now as we record this program, having been born in 1927. Swingle returned to live in the U.S. in 1984 and then, ten years later, moved with his wife back to France.

Now let’s hear the Swingle SIngers’ recording of an abreviated version of the first movement from Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 followed immediately by Bach’s original as performed by the Bach Festival Orchestra conducted by Yehudi Menuhin on an EMI Classics CD.

MUSIC: Bach: First Movement from Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 performed by The Swingle Singers [Virgin Classics 50999 966956 2 3, CD 2, track 10] [2:43]

MUSIC: Bach: First Movement from Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 performed by the Bach Festival Orchestra conducted by Yehudi Menuhin [EMI Classics 50999 2 17617 2 0, CD 1, track 8]
[6:05]

The first movement from Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3. You heard it first as sung by the Swingle SIngers, then as performed by the Bach Festival Orchestra conducted by Yehudi Menuhin.

MUSIC: Bach: Sheep may safely graze from Cantata BWV 208 performed by The Swingle Singers [Virgin Classics 50999 966956 2 3, CD 2, track 11] [4:07]

MUSIC: Bach: Sheep may safely graze from Cantata BWV 208 performed by the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra conducted by Ton Koopman with mezzo-soprano Elizabeth von Magnus [Erato 0630-19275-2, track 3] [4:07]

Sheep May Safely Graze from Bach’s Cantata BWV 208 performed first by The Swingle Singers, then by the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra with mezzo-soprano Elizabeth von Magnus conducted by Ton Koopman. That was from an Erato compact disc recording called “Bach: The Ultimate Collection.”

You are listening to Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide Fred Flaxman. And this hour is devoted to “Swingling Bach’ featuring the Swingle Singers.

[one-minute break not included in the total timing of the program]


MUSIC: Bach: Badinerie from Suite No. 2, BWV 1067 performed by The Swingle Singers [Virgin Classics 50999 966956 2 3, CD 2, track 12] [1:17]

MUSIC: Bach: Badinerie from Suite No. 2, BWV 1067 performed by Jean-Pierre Rampal, flute, with the Orchestre de Chambre Jean-François Paillard conducted by Jean-François Paillard [Erato 0630-19275-2, track 2] [1:20]

The Badinerie from Suite No. 2, BWV 1067 by Johann Sebastian Bach as performed first by The Swingle Singers, then by Jean-Pierre Rampal, flute, with the Orchestre de Chambre Jean-François Paillard conducted by Jean-François Paillard.

MUSIC: Bach: Air on a G String from Suite No. 3 in D, BWV 1068 performed by The Swingle Singers [Virgin Classics 50999 966956 2 3, CD 2, track 19] [4:21]

MUSIC: Bach: Air on a G String from Suite No. 3 in D, BWV 1068 performed by the English Baroque Soloists conducted by John Eliot Gardiner [Erato 0630-19275-2, track 16] [4:03]

Bach’s AIr on a G String from his Suite No. 3 in D, BWV 1068 performed first by the Swingle Singers, then by the English Baroque Soloists conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.

MUSIC: Bach: Blute nur from St. Matthew Passion performed by The Swingle Singers [Virgin Classics 50999 966956 2 3, CD 2, track 17] [3:38]

MUSIC: Bach: Blute nur from St. Matthew Passion performed by the Lausanne Vocal Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra [Erato 0630-19275-2, track 18]
[2:14]

Blute nur from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion performed first by The Swingle Singers, then by the Lausanne Vocal Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra.

We’ll conclude this Compact Discoveries hour devoted to “Swingling Bach” with a familiar chorus from Bach’s B-Minor Mass, performed first by the Swingle Singers, then by the Ama Deus Ensemble conducted by Valentin Radu on a Vox Classics compact disc recording.

MUSIC: Bach: Et resurrexit from Mass in B Minor performed by The Swingle Singers [Virgin Classics 50999 966956 2 3, CD 2, track 15] [2:40]

MUSIC: Bach: Et resurrexit from Mass in B Minor performed by the Ama Deus Ensemble conducted by Valentin Radu [Vox Classics Vox 2 7524, CD 2, track 6] [4:02]

Et resurrexit from Bach’s B-Minor Mass, performed first by the Swingle Singers, then by the Ama Deus Ensemble conducted by Valentin Radu.

MUSIC: Bach: opening of Little Organ Fugue performed by The Swingle Singers [Virgin Classics 50999 966956 2 3, CD 2, track 20] [under the following]

And that concludes this hour of Compact DIscoveries devoted to “Swingling Bach.” I hope you enjoyed the music. This is your guide to the discovery of music classics, Fred Flaxman, reminding you to check out the Compact Discoveries website at www.compactdiscoveries.com.

There you will find links to stream all the Compact Discoveries programs on demand, including this one, which is number 161. There you will also find articles on compact discs, a basic music library, and recommended concert, opera and ballet digital video discs.

Until next time, then, thank you for listening.

ANNOUNCER (Steve Jencks): Compact Discoveries is made possible in part by Story Book Publishers and their latest offering, a tongue-in-cheek memoir by Compact Discoveries host Fred Flaxman called “Sixty Slices of Life ... on Wry: The Private Life of a Public Broadcaster.” Information and ordering at sixtyslices.com.

And by the financial support of the Puffin Foundation, Isabel and Marvin Leibowitz, Barry and Florence Friedberg, and an anonymous donor from Palm Beach, Florida. And by contributions to local public radio stations by listeners like you. Thank you.

Total Program Timing: 58:00

 
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