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.
Listen to the past two weeks of Baroque&Before.
Les Plaisirs: Secular Baroque Cantatas
April 21, 2021
What brings us joy? The simple things: friends, music, a piping hot cup of coffee. In 18th-century Europe, coffee was still a rather rare and not widely available beverage. On this edition of Baroque&Before, Collegium Marianum celebrates Baroque Europe’s coffee craze, along with a variety of delights and pleasures. Tonight’s program was recorded live in concert March 5, 2019, in ...
Cosmopolitanism of the Portuguese Baroque
April 14, 2021
Tonight’s program of chamber music by Portuguese composers and the Italian composers who influenced them is presented by Divino Sospiro, a chamber ensemble founded in Portugal in 2002, directed by the Italian-born conductor and violist Massimo Mazzeo, joined by soprano Eduarda Melo. The music we’ll hear was recorded live March 21, 2021 in the National Palace of Queluz. Due to ...
Bach’s Goldberg Variations with András Schiff
April 7, 2021
Join pianist András Schiff on a voyage through Bach’s monumental work for solo keyboard. The Goldberg Variations was recorded live in concert August 22, 2015 at London’s Royal Albert Hall, made available just recently thanks to WFMT’s affiliation with the European Broadcasting Union. Tonight’s program will be available as a stream for thirty days following tonight’s broadcast. A blue “Listen” ...
Stabat Mater for Holy Week
March 31, 2021
As Easter draws near, 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 ...
Songs & Laments of the Sephardim
March 24, 2021
Passover begins at sundown on Saturday, March 27. Tonight, 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.
The Great Eighteen: Bach’s Leipzig Chorales
March 17, 2021
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 ...
The Five Kingdons of Mediæval Spain
March 10, 2021
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 ...
Bernardo Pasquini & The Martyrdom of Saint Vitus
March 3, 2021
The legend of Saint Vitus, with a cruel Roman emperor, exorcism, miracles, and martyrdom in the Colosseum, was not enough drama for 17th-century Roman nobility; it needed a love story too! In Pasquini’s oratorio, the emperor’s son of legend becomes Valeria, the pretty emperor’s daughter who falls in love with Vitus. Now, that’s entertainment! On this edition of Baroque&Before we’ll ...
Sound Out of Silence: The Baroque Clavichord
February 17, 2021
Early keyboardist Terence Charlston presents the first recording on clavichord of the complete fantasias and canzonas from Johann Jacob Froberger’s Libro Secondo, written in 1649. As were almost all of Froberger’s works, the Libro Secondo was not published during the composer’s lifetime. Tonight’s recital comes from the CD “Froberger: Complete Fantasia and Canzonas; Terence Charlston, harpsichord; Divine Art; DDA 25204 ...
Ars Subtilior: Ballades, Rondeaux & Virelais
February 10, 2021
Near the end of the fourteenth century, around the 1370s and 80s, the movement known as ars nova would cede its musical dominance to a more highly refined musical style that was complex, difficult to write, and difficult to sing. One of the distinguishing characteristic of ars subtilior is its musical notation, the manuscripts sometimes presented as a form of ...
Codex Calixtinus: Vespers of Saint James
February 3, 2021
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 ...
Jordi Savall: El Llibre Vermell de Montserrat
January 27, 2021
The Shrine of the Virgin of Montserrat was a major pilgrimage site in the 14th century. El Llibre Vermell de Montserrat, or the Red Book of Montserrat, is a 14th-century collection of devotional texts and music for pilgrims making their way to the Catalonian Montserrat Monastery. Tonight we hear selections from the 6 music folios contained in El Llibre Vermell, ...
Roderick Williams: Telemann, Bach, Handel
January 20, 2021
Baritone Roderick Williams is featured as soloist and as director of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in sacred cantatas by Bach and Telemann. Soprano Rowan Pierce joins Mr. Williams and the OAE for the secular cantata Apollo e Dafne, Handel’s poignant and seductive setting of passion and desire followed by regret and penitence from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Tonight’s program ...
A Mass against the Black Death: Benevoli’s Missa in angustia pestilentiae
January 13, 2021
In the autumn of 1656, the Plague epidemic claimed one million lives in Italy. To combat the anguish of the soul caused by the Black Death, Orazio Benevoli composed the Missa “In angustia pestilentiae.” First performed on November 18, 1656, at the height of the plague, we hear it on this edition of Baroque&Before, along with works by Antonio Lotti ...
Pallas Nordica: Music for Queen Christina
January 6, 2021
Queen Christina I of Sweden (1626-1689,) one of the most educated women of the Baroque era, gave up her royal throne at the age of 28. Known as “Pallas Nordica”, the Athena or Minerva of the North, she left her native Sweden and travelled across Europe to Rome. She corresponded with and supported Europe’s leading contemporary artists and thinkers, including ...
Ave Atque Vale: Hail & Farewell
December 30, 2020
As 2020 draws to a close, we remember the life and work of five classical artists who died this past year, each, in his or her own way, dedicated to the performance and diffusion of early music: violinist Jaap Schröder, pianist Peter Serkin, harpsichordist Kenneth Gilbert, guitarist Julian Bream, and soprano Erin Wall. We laud them tonight and say Ave ...
Bach’s Christmas Oratorio
December 23, 2020
Baroque&Before’s special extended Christmas edition presents Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, written for the Christmas season of 1734-1735. La Capella Reial de Catalunya, Le Concert des Nations, and soloists, under the direction of Jordi Savall, present a new recording of the Christmas Oratorio, recorded live in concert December 18 and 29, 2019 in Barcelona’s Palau de la Música. Tonight’s program ...
Psalms of David: Jewish, Muslim & Christian Settings
December 16, 2020
Tonight’s program, titled “Sacred Bridges,” celebrates the rich connections between Orient and Occident, creating a musical exploration of the complex intertwinings – the sacred bridges – between Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, as seen through settings of the timeless Psalms of David. Bringing this music to life is the multicultural ensemble Sarband. Though based in Germany, Sarband’s musicians hail from a ...
A Sephardic Hanukkah
December 9, 2020
Baroque&Before marks Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, 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 on demand for two weeks following the broadcast. Please visit wfmt.com/listen.
The Fortunes of Andromeda and Perseus: Spain’s First Opera
December 2, 2020
This week, Baroque&Before has the rare pleasure of presenting a performance of a work not performed publicly since the mid 17th century, or commercially recorded. Often referred to as Spain’s first opera, tonight’s presentation of Las Fortunas de Andrómeda y Perseo comes to us from a recording made live in concert January 25, 2020 at the Konzerthaus in Vienna as ...
Masses by Joan Cererols with Jordi Savall
November 25, 2020
Born in 1618, Joan Cererols was the first great composer of the Catalan Baroque. Jordi Savall leads the Jove Capella Reial de Catalunya in two works that have brought Cererols world renown: Missa pro defunctis and Missa de batalla. Recorded live in concert April 4, 2018 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the birth of Joan Cererols, in Barcelona’s L’Auditori, as part ...