With music and stories for Thanksgiving, host John Birge creates a thoughtful, contemporary reflection on the meaning of the holiday. Famous French chef Jacques Pepin is this year's special guest on Giving Thanks. His message is as timely as today's headlines:
"Thanksgiving is the greatest example of what a great dinner should be: a meal that welcomes people of all religious, political or ethnic persuasions. The table is the great equalizer, and everyone around that table gets along with one another and enjoys life with family and strangers alike."
Classical music is the heart and soul of the original Giving Thanks. Between the music, no cliches about pilgrims and pumpkin pies. Instead, it's a contemporary celebration of spirit of gratitude. And continuing a Giving Thanks tradition: a spellbinding story from actor Charles Laughton, giving thanks for art that connects us all to the creative spirit.
Whether you are up early in the kitchen, on the road to a family gathering, or relaxing after the feast, Giving Thanks provides the perfect atmosphere for Thanksgiving: the warmth of great music, and truly memorable words.
• Traditional: We Gather Together — Boston Pops/John Williams
• Bach: We Thank Thee — Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy
• Jacques Pepin on Thanksgiving; with daughter Claudine and grandaughter Shorey
• Norman Dello Joio: Story Time — Debra Torok, Marylène Dosse, pianists
• Gabriel Faure: Dolly Suite: Berceuse — Boston Symphony/Seiji Ozawa
• Francis Lam: The True Meaning of Turkey
• Aaron Copland: The Promise of Living — Cincinnati Pops/Erich Kunzel
• Mark O'Connor: Appalachia Waltz — La Pieta/Angele Dubeau
• M.F.K. Fischer: How to be Cheerful Though Starving — read by Lynne Rossetto Kaspar
• Johannes Brahms: Intermezzo in A — Murray Perahia, piano
• W. S. Merwin: Gift — read by W. S. Merwin
• Joseph Curiale: The Multiples of One — Royal Philharmonic/Joseph Curiale
• John Berryman: Minnesota Thanksgiving — read by Garrison Keillor
• J. S. Bach: Sleepers, Wake — Chris Thile, mandolin; Yo Yo Ma, cello; Edgar Meyer, bass
• Aaron Copland: Variations on a Shaker Melody — Philharmonia Virtuosi
• Jacques Pepin on family; with daughter Claudine and grandaughter Shorey
• Joachin Rodrigo: Album for Cecilia — Gregory Allen, piano
• Ennio Morricone: Cinema Paradiso: First Youth — Studio Orchestra/Henry Mancini
• Francis Lam on gratitude
• Joe Curiale: Prairie Hymn — London Symphony Orchestra/Joe Curiale
• Gene Scheer: American Anthem — Norah Jones, vocal
• Ottorino Respighi: Ancient Airs & Dances, Suite No. 1: Baletto — Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra/Neville Marriner
• From Kerouac's "The Dharma Bums," Chartres Cathedral story; Psalm 104 — read by Charles Laughton
• Traditional, arr. Stephen Paulus: We Gather Together — Dale Warland Singers
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