Young and Mysterious

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This week, Terrance McKnight features Kevin James's composition NYC Playground, recorded by the Young People's Chorus of New York, and the Face the Music ensemble performs works by Phil Kline.

We also take a listen to one of the biggest hits of polyphonic repertoire, the setting of O Magnum Mysterium. The text tells the story of the virgin birth and has been set to music for more than 600 years. We compare three of these settings. As always we'd love to hear your thoughts.


Exquisite Corpses

Phil Kline

Face the Music,

Jenny Undercofler, conductor

Juan Lara, clarinet

WNYC Archives


Cello Suite No. 1 in G, BWV 1007

JS Bach

Yo-Yo Ma, cello



Guide to Strange Places

John Adams

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

David Robertson, conductor


O Magmun Mysterium

Jacobus Clemens 'non Papa'

Tone Elisabeth Braaten

Ingrid Hanken

Edda Rydh

Narianne Kielland

Per Kristian Amundrod

Trond Olav Reinhodsten

Frank Havroy



O Magnum Mysterium

Tomas Luis de Victoria

Robert Shaw Festival Singers

Robert Shaw, conductor



O Magmun Mysterium

Francis Poulenc

The Choir of New College, Oxford

Edward Higginbottom, conductor



NYC Playground

Kevin James

Young People’s Chorus of New York

Francisco Nunez

Vital Records


Abide with Me/Blue Monk

Thelonious Monk

Richard Stolzman, clarinet

Beill Douglas, keyboards

Jeremy Wall, synthesizers

Eddie Gomez, bass



Water Girl

Zakir Hussain

Zakir Hussain, tabla

Hariprasad Chaurasia, flute

John McLaughlin, guitar

Jan Garbarek, saxophone



Soldier in the Rain

Henry Mancini

Don Byron, bass clarinet

Jerome Harris, bass

Paulo Braga, drums

Patricia O’Callaghan, vocalist

Dean Bowman, vocals

Mark Ledford, vocalist


“Tabula rasa”: Silentium

Arvo Part

Bournemouth sinfonietta

Richard Studt, conductor

Richard Studt, violin

Tasmin Little, violin