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.
Songs & Laments of the Sephardim
April 15, 2020
On this eighth night of Passover, Baroque&Before celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt with a program of sacred, paraliturgical, celebratory, and secular music of the Jews of the Mediterranean: Spain, Greece, Italy, and the Ottoman Empire. Tonight’s program will be available for on demand listening for two weeks following the broadcast.
Venetian Baroque Masterpieces
April 22, 2020
Violinist Dmitry Sinkovsky, cellist Ilze Grudule, and harpsichordist Ieva Saliete present masterpieces of the Baroque of the Venetian School: works by composers who flourished in the Republic of Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries. Recorded live in concert July 10, 2019 in Riga’s Mazajā ģildē (Small Guild Hall) as part of the International Festival of Early Music. Thanks to ...
April 8, 2020
For Easter, Baroque&Before offers two settings of the medieval Latin hymn on the suffering of Mary at the Crucifixion: the world premiere recording of Alessandro Scarlatti’s Stabat Mater of 1724, and the first studio recording of Emanuele d’Astorga’s dignified and moving Stabat Mater, circa 1707. Douglas Bostock leads Camerata Polifonica Siciliana and vocal soloists. This program will be available On ...
Riga Baroque Ensemble: Lamentations du Jeudi Saint
April 1, 2020
Riga Baroque Ensemble presents Flemish composer Joseph-Hector Fiocco’s masterpiece of Dutch Baroque music, written for Maundy Thursday and unique in the genre due to its instrumentation. The first of the Trauer-Ode of Rigan Baroque composer Daniel Kahde. Recorded live in concert April 14, 2019, (Palm Sunday) in Radio Latvia’s Studio 1, Riga. Thanks to WFMT’s membership in the European Broadcasting ...
The Great Eighteen: Bach’s Leipzig Chorales
March 25, 2020
Written in the last decade of his life, Bach’s chorale preludes for organ mark the pinnacle of his sacred works for organ. Daniel Gauss, organist at the Bern Cathedral, plays the Gottlieb Leuw organ, built in 1729. Recorded live in concert June 11, 2019, as part of the series Evening Music at Bern Cathedral. Thanks to WFMT’s association with the ...
Lars Vogt & Bach’s Goldberg Variations
March 18, 2020
One of the essentials from the keyboard repertoire, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations is far-reaching in the compendium of emotions and sentiments it embraces, offering endless possibilities for interpretation. The transparency, delicacy, and fantasy in the treatment of the theme and variations, not to mention perfection, puts the Goldberg Variations at the pinnacle of Bachian keyboard writing. Tonight we’ll hear ...
Tiana Early Music Festival: Organs tell songs; Los órganos dizen chaçones
March 11, 2020
Guillermo Pérez presents 14th-century music performed on the iconic 14th and 15th century keyboard known as the organetto. Tonight’s recital was recorded live in concert June 6, 2018, in Tiana, Barcelona’s Chapel of Our Lady of Joy, an 11th century hermitage, as the closing recital of the Tiana Early Music Festival. Thanks to WFMT’s association with the European Broadcasting Union, ...
The Schwanengesang of Heinrich Schütz
March 4, 2020
Known as the Father of German Music, Heinrich Schütz had a profound influence on generations of composers who followed. Tonight, we hear his final opus, his Schwanengesang, if you will: a monumental setting of all 176 verses of Psalm 119, plus Psalm 100, and his fourth and final setting of the Deutsches Magnificat. The RIAS Chamber Chorus, Capella de la ...
Torroella de Montgrí Festival: From Victoria to Cererols with Tenebrae
February 26, 2020
Tenebrae, the British chamber choir specializing in Renaissance polyphony, presents the magnificent Requiem Mass by Tomás Luis de Victoria. The program opens with two works by Joan Cererols: the Salve Regina and the Battle Mass. Recorded live in concert August 8, 2018 in the Church of Sant Genís in the small Catalan town of Torroella de Montgrí on Spain’s Costa ...
Heinrich Schütz: Musikalische Exequien
February 19, 2020
Heinrich Schütz wrote Musikalische Exequien, Op. 7, the centerpiece of tonight’s program, upon the request of German Count Heinreich II of Reuss-Gera. It includes texts taken from the Old Testament, the gospels, and Lutheran chorales. Schütz most probably wrote it when he was Italy, where he became interested in and able to compose music to capture the meanings and imagery ...
La Stagione: Liebe, was ist schöner als die Liebe
February 12, 2020
Like many other composers of his time, Georg Philipp Telemann repeatedly addressed the theme of love in his operas and cantatas; among them, so-called wedding cantatas, commissioned by wealthy bridal couples for their wedding celebrations. One of these, Liebe, was ist schöner als die Liebe, receives its modern day premiere on this week’s program, along with two more Telemann secular ...
La petite merveille & il Arcangelo
February 5, 2020
Violinist Lina Tur-Bonet and harpsichordist Kenneth Weiss invite us on a journey through the music of Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, known as “La petite merveille” (The Little Marvel) and Il Arcangelo (Arcangelo Corelli.) Recorded live in concert February 14, 2019, in the Barcelona History Museum’s Capella de Santa Àgata (Saint Agnes Chapel) as part of Festival Llums d’Antiga (Lights ...
ORA Singers: Settings of Miserere – Songs of Hope
January 29, 2020
The ORA Singers presents a program of Settings of the Miserere from Allegri to Byrd to Tallis. Recorded live in concert June 7, 2019 in St. Peter’s Cathedral in Regensburg, as part of the Regensburg Early Music Festival. Thanks to Classical WFMT’s association with the European Broadcasting Union, we’re able to offer tonight’s program as a stream for 30 days ...
Lucie Horsch & Baroque Classics
January 22, 2020
Young Dutch recorder-player Lucie Horsch is already in demand internationally as a soloist and, with a critically acclaimed solo album to her name, has launched what promises to be a distinguished career. We hear her tonight, joined by Richard Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music, in a program of concertos and transcriptions by Bach, Vivaldi, and Sammartini that explore ...
Jaap Schröder: Requiescat in Pace
January 15, 2020
On the morning of January 1, just one day after he turned 94 years old, violinist Jaap Schröder died at his home in Amsterdam. On this week’s edition of Baroque&Before, we remember one of the first pioneers to present performances of baroque, and later, classical works, on period instruments. Recordings for this week’s program come from WFMT’s Richard and Mary ...
Avi Avital & The Virtuoso Mandolin
January 8, 2020
Les Violons du Roy welcomes Avi Avital, the ensemble’s first-ever mandolin soloist, for concerti grossi and concerti by Vivaldi, Handel, Paisiello, Durante, and more. Recorded live in concert November, 2018, in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Salle Bourgie. Thanks to Classical WFMT’s association with the European Broadcasting Union, we’re able to offer tonight’s program as a stream from January ...
Ave Atque Vale: Hail & Farewell
January 1, 2020
As 2019 draws to a close, we remember the life and work of five classical artists who died this past year, all, in their own way, dedicated to the performance and diffusion of early music: champion and resuscitator of Italian baroque opera Raymond Leppard; French organist, pianist, teacher, and composer Jean Guillou; the “Rostropovich of the baroque cello” Anner Bylsma; ...
Christmas with Seconda Prat!ca & The Tallis Scholars
December 25, 2019
Baroque&Before’s special 2-hour Christmas edition opens with musical traditions of Portugal of the 15th to 17th centuries, performed by the Amsterdam-based early music ensemble Seconda Prat!ca. Recorded live in concert in the Reichssaal, Old Town Hall, Regensburg, as part of the Regensburg Early Music Festival. The second part of tonight’s program features the renowned Tallis Scholars at the Temple Winter ...
A Romanesque Christmas
December 18, 2019
On this first of two special Christmas editions of Baroque&Before, we are afforded the rare opportunity outside of Spain to hear the Mallorcan version of El Cant de la Sibil.la; the Song of the Sybil, as it has been re-enacted in the churches of Mallorca every Christmas Eve since the 15th century, as well as throughout Spain as early as ...
The Five Kingdoms of Mediæval Spain
December 11, 2019
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 Five Kingdoms of Mediæval ...
Jordi Savall: Works by Diego Ortiz & Joan Cererols
December 4, 2019
Jordi Savall and La Capella Reial bring to life works by two composers from Spain with a Neapolitan connection: Toledo-born composer and music theorist Diego Ortiz, and Catalan musician and Benedictine monk Joan Cererols. Performances come from recordings from Classical WFMT’s Richard and Mary L. Gray Music Library.
Codex Calixtinus: Vespers of Saint James
November 20, 2019
Since the ninth century, the routes to Santiago de Compostela leading to the sanctuary of St. James have attracted countless pilgrims and exercised a potent mystique. What has achieved less attention is the music originally sung during the services in honor of the saint. Marcel Pérès’s in-depth study of the Codex Calixtinus, preserved at the Cathedral of Santiago, has led ...