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Playlist: Easter

Compiled By: PRX Editors

 Credit: <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-73172341/stock-photo-easter-chicks-against-sky-background.html?src=csl_recent_image-1">Shutterstock</a>
Image by: Shutterstock 
Curated Playlist

Easter is April 16 this year.

Below are picks chosen by PRX editorial staff.

Easter Through the Ages

From WFIU | Part of the Harmonia Early Music: Specials series | 58:58

We're exploring nearly seven hundred years of Easter music, from the 11th century to the 18th century.

822-easter-eggs_cropped_small On Harmonia, we're exploring nearly seven hundred years of Easter music, from the 11th century to the 18th century. We'll hear music from one of Bach's Easter cantatas as well as medieval chant for Easter. And our featured recording is Haec Dies: Music for Easter, by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge. Join us!

A Celebration of Peace Through Music

From The WFMT Radio Network | 01:58:30

Sir Gilbert Levine gathered orchestras and choruses from America and Europe to the stage of Washington, DC’s DAR Constitution Hall on the occasion of the canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II by Pope Francis in April, 2014. The repertoire was carefully chosen to reflect the spirit of these three popes and their commitment to peace and brotherhood among all peoples of all religions of the world.

Celebration-concert-1_0_small

This special is available free of charge to all affiliate stations for four (4) broadcasts from March 29, 2015 through March 28, 2018.

For more information, please contact :
Estlin Usher at eusher@wfmt.com  (p) 773-279-2112
Tony Macaluso at tmacaluso@wfmt.com (p) 773-279-2114  

Featured musical selections include: Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, Verdi’s Messa Da Requiem, Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, and Brahms’ Symphony No. 1. Also included in this broadcast is an ancient Polish hymn attributed to Bogurodzica, and Henryk Gorecki’s Totus Tuus for a Capella choir.

This two-hour is well-suited for scheduling during Holy Week.  A Celebration of Peace Through Music features the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Krakow Philharmonic Choir and the Washington Choral Arts Society with commentary by conductor Sir Gilbert Levine.  This program is a co-production of Pax Per Musicam Foundation and Georgetown University, in association with Classical WETA in Washington, D.C.

Major funding for this broadcast is provided by Tom and Gayle Benson; Alfred H. Moses and Fern Schad; Chandler and Paul Tagliabue; and The Hariri Foundation.

God Had Been There Forever

From Cathy Corman | 04:40

Retired American Presbyterian missionary Barry Alter explains, in India, how the Easter story convinced her that Christianity wasn't about converting anyone, ever.

Barry_itm_main_page_small Retired American Presbyterian missionary Barry Alter explains, in India, how the Easter story convinced her that Christianity wasn't about converting anyone, ever.

Church Music

From Charles Lane | 58:59

A documentary exploring why we sing music at church and what it does for individuals and communities.

Playing
Church Music
From
Charles Lane

Web200802240697songso_small Church music is one of the few pure forms of human expression. Just a person, their voice, and the belief that compassion is self-fulfilling and will birth more compassion. Here in a one-hour special we explore the many kinds of church music in America. The culture and the people behind the voices. Who sings and why, and what those songs say about our country. This documentary takes equally from several Christian denominations and is prefect for air around Easter, Christmas, or on any given Sunday. **rundown "attached" and at "station info"

Science of Easter & Passover

From William S. Hammack | Part of the Stories of Technology series | 02:54

Determining the dates of Easter and Passover led directly to our modern calendar.

Default-piece-image-2 This week represents a great triumph of scientific learning. Right now we're between the Jewish Passover Feast and the Christian Easter. To develop a calendar that placed these holidays at the same season every year took the work of the best minds in science over 1500 years to solve.In the late 16th century Pope Gregory assembled a council to survey the best scientific work of the time and of the previous centuries, including Copernicus's earth shattering observations about the motion of the planets. The Pope charged his council with finding the exact length of the solar year, and then matching a calendar to it. They came up with a calendar based on a year only twenty-six seconds short of the true length of a solar year. They invented a calendar with unequal months and the occasional leap year - the calendar we use today. In many ways our science today descends from this calendar because the search for a new calendar helped keep alive mathematics and astronomy in a time less than ideal for scientific inquiry. Kept alive not, though, by a love of learning, but to solve an administrative problem of the Pope.

The History Behind Easter Traditions

From Syracuse University Broadcast Journalism | 02:40

The stories behind popular Easter traditions like the Easter Bunny and decorating eggs.

Easter_picture_small The stories behind popular Easter traditions like the Easter Bunny and decorating eggs.

Record Bin Roulette - Hot Hits From The Bible

From John Kessler | 03:47

4 minute weekly binge of musical rarities, oddities and classics. This time pop hits from the Good Book, with Sister Janet Mead, The Byrds and Wink Martindale.

Singnun_small 4 minute weekly binge of musical rarities, oddities and classics. This time pop hits from the Good Book, with Sister Janet Mead, The Byrds and Wink Martindale.

Easter Monday

From Muriel Murch | Part of the Letter From A. Broad series | 08:21

From America's White House to the small farms and families in the country -- spring and new beginnings in the air. A lovely personal story.

Img_2498_2_small A vegetable plot is going into The White House Garden. New chicks are brought home to a small organic California farm.
In both cases childhood memories are being revived and created. 

Holy Land Tour

From Jake Warga | 13:27

personal tour through the Holy Land, looking at how the conflict started and what it's like today between Jerusalem and Bethlehem...between birth and re-birth.

Playing
Holy Land Tour
From
Jake Warga

070317_028_small

A narrated audio-rich trip through the holy land exploring the modern state of Christmas.  Between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, between Easter and Christmas, there is a modern and yet ancient wall.  In my travels I explore the origins of the conflict, all the way back to Abraham:

 

"...The name “Isaac” means “He Laughs”  His laughter and blood becomes David’s...A lineage dripping with laughter, but blood is mixed with tears.  Ishmael, the name, means “He Weeps”  The brother of Isaac, the brother of Laughter, weeps to this day...

...In Jerusalem, religions compete to see which can get you up the earliest. Call to prayers from loud speakers in minarets try to beat the roosters. Then come wake-up bells from churches.  Not even an Atheist can over-sleep in the holy land. "

Video:

http://hearingvoices.com/news/2009/12/holy-land-tour/
or
http://vimeo.com/8037836

My Pink Easter Dress

From Miles Eddy | 04:41

Storyteller Mary Van Pelt remembers shopping for a special dress, her fear of the big city, and receiving gentle guidance and love from her Grandmother.

Marybirthdaypicturewebres_small Storyteller Mary Van Pelt remembers shopping for a special dress, her fear of the big city, and receiving gentle guidance and love from her Grandmother.

The Beatles Happy Easter Spring Time Show

From Brooke Halpin | Part of the Come Together with The Beatles & Brooke Halpin series | 57:00

Beatles and Solo Beatle songs celebrating Easter and Spring.

Beatleschicks2_small Beatles and solo Beatle songs about Easter and Spring, plus the Beatles Cover Song of the Day.

Resurrection

From Wind and Rhythm | 58:30

Wind music for Easter.

Resurrection-jesus_small

The mission of Wind and Rhythm is to build a community of individuals who love wind bands; to grow a wider audience for the music bands play; and to provide a venue for band members and directors to speak about their art.

To accomplish our mission we produce both on-air and on-line programming that invites listeners to reconnect with their roots as members of bands; encourages listeners to participate in community music-making; and provides for listeners an opportunity to hear the best bands in the world.

Zion Harmonizers: 'The Elder Statesmen of New Orleans Gospel'

From Music Inside Out | Part of the Music Inside Out : Series One series | 52:06

Here's a great hour to run during the Easter season -- or during the New Orleans Jazz Fest.

The Zion Harmonizers are rooted in the quartet singing tradition and a capella harmonies from the turn of the last century. For more than 40 years, they've enjoyed an unparalleled platform at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, anchoring and curating the Gospel Tent.

In the church of New Orleans jazz, they’ve had the keys to the church of church.

Thank goodness. It’s wonderful.

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The Zion Harmonizers began as “New Zion” in 1939. The group’s longtime leader, the “Godfather of the Gospel Tent,” Sherman Washington joined up in 1941 and helped to spread the good news far and wide.

Washington died in 2011. The group is now lead by Brazella Briscoe who has planned a tour to coincide with the release of the Harmonizer’s first new recording in 15 years: Bringing In the Sheaves.

It’s a fitting celebration for a group that’s celebrating a Diamond Jubilee.

The Beauty of Eggs

From Shana S. Weber, Ph.D. | Part of the Pathways to Sustainability series | 02:02

Home-grown eggs are great tasting, good for you, and can come in a variety of gorgeous colors - enough to make even the pickiest Easter bunny proud.

Pathway5_small Home-grown eggs are great tasting, good for you, and can come in a variety of gorgeous colors - enough to make even the pickiest Easter bunny proud.

J.S. Bach’s Bitter-Sweet Passion

From Open Source | Part of the Open Source with Christopher Lydon series | 58:37

From the great Bach’s hand, two masterpieces of church theater survive. Both tell the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, one from the gospel of Matthew, the other from the later gospel of John.

This St. John Passion, first performed in 1724, is a “mis-shapen, personal and messy” piece, as one of Boston’s great Bach conductors Craig Smith used to say, in exactly the way the story is mis-shapen, personal and messy. It’s the musical account of a sadistic murder of a young visionary—to the howling mockery of a mob of his fellow Jews. Jesus’s sin was presenting himself as the Son of God. For Christians (like Bach) the death of Jesus becomes the redeeming moment in all of time, God’s sacrifice of his son for the sins of mankind.

Screen_shot_2015-04-06_at_6

J.S. Bach’s Bitter-Sweet Passion

The music in this episode comes from Boston Baroque’s 2015 performance of the Saint John Passion, conducted by Martin Pearlman.

From the great Bach’s hand, two masterpieces of church theater survive. Both tell the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, one from the gospel of Matthew, the other from the later gospel of John.

This St. John Passion, first performed in 1724, is a “mis-shapen, personal and messy” piece, as one of Boston’s great Bach conductors Craig Smith used to say, in exactly the way the story is mis-shapen, personal and messy. It’s the musical account of a sadistic murder of a young visionary—to the howling mockery of a mob of his fellow Jews. Jesus’s sin was presenting himself as the Son of God. For Christians (like Bach) the death of Jesus becomes the redeeming moment in all of time, God’s sacrifice of his son for the sins of mankind.

But in the telling over the ages and especially after the 20th century, that merciless mob, yelling “crucify him, crucify him” in Bach’s oratorio made St. John Passion unlistenable even for many Bach lovers. This week we’re trying to make sense of a Western masterwork that has not just killer rage at the core, but also group labels on it.

The cast of this universal story is nearly all Jewish: Jesus, Mary, the apostles, the gospel writers, the elders of the temple–all but the viceroy Pontius Pilate are Jews in a Jewish outpost of the Roman empire. But in the text Bach set to music, the crowd mocking Jesus, screaming for his death, is identified–not as “the crowd,” or “the people” but as “the Jews.” And there’s the rub for modern minds.

If the Bach Passion is at all disturbing, is at all problematic, it’s only because the Gospels [themselves] are hugely problematic. It’s because, over centuries, medieval and early modern interpretations of that Gospel text added weight to an anti-Jewish core that couldn’t have been imagined by John when he wrote it… That doesn’t mean that these texts are necessarily tainted forever. The question is, how do you take traditions and evolve them? How do we get our contemporary values in sync without throwing out these traditions that are beautiful?… Deanna Klepper.

Martin Pearlman, who has led the Boston Baroque ensemble for 40 years but never put the St. John Passion on his program until this year, was the instigator of this conversation. It is his performance with the Boston Baroque players and singers (from February 27 and 28 late this winter) that runs throughout our radio hour. Our conversation draws also on the mezzo-sopranoPamela Dellal, who’s sung the great St. John arias and translated its words into English. Robert Marshall at Brandeis, andDeanna Klepper at Boston University are our historians of Bach’s music and the political and religious context of 18th-century Germany.

The ultimate villain of the piece is humanity in general… Everybody was playing a preordained role. [As a young man] I heard ‘the [Jews] shrieking’ and put it in the context of the Holocaust, the Nazis, Goebbels. The German language played a bad role, too. In those days you never heard the German language being spoken unless it sounded like it was being spoken by Nazis, if you go back to the 1960s… I like to think I’m more enlightened about it now. I think, in some sense, it’s something of an exoneration, because the Jews are part of the scenario, but the message being spoken… is a universal message, that we are all part of this crime, this deicide. Am I rationalizing too much?   Bob Marshall.

We’re listening not just for the hard feeling in and around this music but for the heart-rending beauty that’s more memorable in the end. The St. John Passion is a monument to eternal sadness and excruciating suffering rendered in musical language what no other language could. What do you hear in the music?