The marathon, called "A Bach Christmas" presents the composer's entire surviving oeuvre, in both historical and modern-day recordings, performed by such artists as conductors John Eliot Gardiner and Philippe Herreweghe, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Angela Hewitt, and harpsichordist Ton Koopman.
Musicians including Emma Kirkby, Andreas Scholl, Ian Bostridge, Christopher Hogwood, and others will guide listeners through the music. Other features include a series of vignettes on the composer's life and personal reflections on Bach's music by luminaries such as Wynton Marsalis, Elvis Costello, and Mark Morris.
Broadcasts of Bach's cantatas will begin every day at noon; the composer's major works, including the St. Matthew Passion, the Goldberg Variations, and the Mass in B minor, will be presented in the evenings.
For more information, or to listen to an Internet stream of the broadcasts, visit www.bbc.co.uk/radio3.
The program, according to the London Telegraph, will include 500 organ works, 371 chorales, 215 cantatas, 200 keyboard works, 40 chamber pieces, 28 orchestral works, 14 passions, masses, and oratorios, and six motets, all played over 214 hours.
This marathon was planned in the wake of the BBC's hugely successful Beethoven marathon last June.