Wednesdays at 10:00 pm

A fresh feast of early music every week.

Join host Candice Agree for WFMT’s exciting weekly program of early music. Baroque&Before explores works written before 1750, featuring live concert recordings from some of the world’s most prestigious early music festivals, as well as commercially released recordings from WFMT’s vast library. From Russia to the Americas, from Northern Europe to the Mediterranean and Middle East, Candice presents internationally known artists on the early music scene, crafting a delightful mix of musicianship, music, and history.

Baroque&Before Remembers Zuzana Růžičková

October 25, 2017

The world renowned Czech harpsichordist Zuzana Růžičková died September 27, 2017 at the age of 90. In a career spanning more than half a century, she recorded over 100 albums, and was the first harpsichordist to record Bach’s complete works in a collection of 35 CDs. On this edition of Baroque&Before, we bring you excerpts from a recital featuring some ...

A word about November 1

November 1, 2017

Baroque&Before will not be heard this week, due to WFMT’s live broadcast of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Wagner’s Die Walküre. Baroque&Before returns to our regular time on Wednesday, November 8th, with the Missa Omnium Sanctorum (Mass for All Saints) by Baroque Czech master Jan Dismas Zelenka.

Zelenka’s Mass for All Saints

November 8, 2017

Czech composer Jan Lukáš (Dismas) Zelenka’s music was admired by Bach and other contemporaries for its harmonic and rhythmic inventiveness. His Missa Omnium Sanctorum (Mass for All Saints), written in 1741, is one of Zelenka’s few remaining masses, and  the last work he composed before his death. This recording, made live in concert September 9, 2016 as part of the ...

The Fruit of Love: Instrumental Dances by Anthony Holborne

October 18, 2017

L’Archéron, a consort of viols, devotes its entire live recital to the music of Anthony Holborne, specifically, a selection of instrumental dances from The Fruit of Love, published in 1599. Recorded live in concert in L’Église de Gruyères, at the closing recital of the Douxième Atelier de Musique Ancienne (Early Music Workshop.) PROGRAM Anthony Holborne (1545-1602) The Fruit of Love ...

Monteverdi 450: Sacred&Secular

October 11, 2017

On last week’s program, we heard the Ricercar Consort, Ensemble Oltremontano , and vocal soloists in the first ten sections of the Vespers of 1610, recorded live in concert as part of the  Basel Early Music Festival. Tonight, we’ll hear the rest of the Vespers Monteverdi’s masterpiece. But before we get to the sacred, we’ll turn to the secular, and ...

Monteverdi 450: Vespers of 1610, Parts I-X

October 4, 2017

In celebration of the 450th anniversary year of the birth of Claudio Monteverdi, Ensemble Oltremontano and the Ricercar Consort present the first ten parts of Monteverdi’s Marian Vespers of 1610, joined by soloists renowned   in the early music world. Next week, we’ll complete the Vespers, as well as hear a selection of Monteverdi’s madrigals, sung in Italian. Tonight’s program ...

Harry Bicket & The English Concert with Henry Purcell & Friends

September 27, 2017

Harry Bicket, who is guest conducting Lyric Opera’s production of Orphée et Eurydice through October 15, here leads members of The English Concert and vocal soloists Rosemary Joshua and Sarah Connelly in songs, arias, and duets by Henry Purcell. Instrumental works by Purcell’s contemporaries Matthew Locke, John Blow, and Christopher Gibbons create context for Purcell’s songs. Recorded live in concert ...

Songs & Laments of the Sephardim

September 20, 2017

On this evening of Rosh Hashanah, Baroque&Before celebrates the Jewish High Holy Days with a program of sacred, paraliturgical, celebratory, and secular music of the Jews of the Mediterranean: Spain, Greece, Italy, and the Ottoman Empire. Recordings for this week’s program come from Candice Agree’s personal library.

Il Giardino Armonico: Baroque Trio Sonatas

September 13, 2017

Il Giardino Armonico’s many fine studio recordings of Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, and other Baroque masters are well-known to WFMT listeners. On this edition of Baroque&Before, we have the rare opportunity to hear Il Giardino Armonico in a concert of trio sonatas. Recorded live in concert during 2013 March Music Days International Festival in the Concert Hall in Ruse, Bulgaria’s fifth ...

The Art of the Madrigal

September 6, 2017

From the Basel Early Music Festival, Ensemble Profeti della Quinta presents a program of madrigals from the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries by Cirpriano de Rore, Luca Marenzio, Carlo Gesualdo, and Scipione Lacorcia, interspersed with works for lute by Giovanni Antonio Terzi and Francesco da Milano. Recorded live in concert in St. Martin’s Church, Basel, Switzerland.

Accordone: Madrigals, Frottole, Tarantelle, and More

August 30, 2017

Tenor Marco Beasley and the period instrument Ensemble Accordone present a program of early 17th-century madrigals along with frottole and tarantelle in the Neopolitan and Apulian traditions. Recorded live in concert as part of the Bad Arolsen Baroque Festival.

The Five Kingdoms of Spain

August 23, 2017

Roman, Germanic, Byzantine, French, Arabic, and Jewish cultures all contributed to Spanish music. This week, a program of vocal music from Spain from the 13th-17th centuries: settings of secular and sacred texts by Tomás Luis de Victoria and Mateo Flecha the Elder, plus anonymous Sephardic and Navarrese love songs, reflecting the mix of cultures throughout the 5 Kingdoms of Spain. ...