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.
Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers with Apollo’s Fire
October 20, 2021
Jeannette Sorrell, founder and director of Apollo’s Fire, describes Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers as “daringly avant-garde: music that uses the tools of the Renaissance and stretches them to convey the flamboyant, emotional imagery of the early Baroque.” On this edition of Baroque&Before, we hear Apollo’s Fire, Apollo’s Singers and soloists in this revolutionary and thrilling musical integration of biblical and liturgical ...
The World of Ramon Llull
October 13, 2021
Ramon Llull (1232-1316) was one of the most prominent writers and poets of medieval Catalonia, living at a time marked by the coexistence, not always peacefully, of the three Abrahamic religious cultures of his time. Jordi Savall leads La Capella Reial de Catalunya, Hespèrion XXI, and special guest artists in Ramon Llull: Times of Conquest, Dialogue, and Exhortation; a program ...
Jordi Savall: El Llibre Vermell de Montserrat
October 6, 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, ...
A Frescobaldi Musical Flower
September 29, 2021
A child prodigy born into a wealthy Ferraresi family, Girolamo Frescobaldi published his Fiori musicali in 1635. Close to 60 years old, these musical flowers are his only compositions devoted to church music. The flower we’ll hear tonight is the Missa della Madonna, the last of the three masses comprising Fiori musicali. The eight male voices of the Canticum ensemble, ...
Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo with Jordi Savall
September 22, 2021
Jordi Savall leads Le Concert des Nations, La Capella Reial de Catalunya, and soloists in Monteverdi’s five-act musical retelling of the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, the Classical myth of patience, faith, and enduring love. Featuring mezzo Luciana Mancini, baritone Marc Mauillon, contralto Sara Mingardo, and bass Silvio Vitale, tonight’s presentation was recorded live in concert June 4, 2021, at ...
Sacred Bridges: Psalms of David
September 15, 2021
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 ...
O, Jerusalem! Crossroads of Three Faiths with Apollo’s Fire
September 8, 2021
13th-century Persian poet Jalal al-Din Rumi described Jerusalem as “the place where everything is music … and brothers and strangers are one.” Apollo’s Fire, under the direction of Jeannette Sorrell, presents an exploration of the four quarters of Old Jerusalem (Jewish, Christian, Arab, and Armenian/Byzantine,) and the cross-cultural influences of the city’s inhabitants. The rhythms of daily life — love, ...
Voces Suaves & Cafebaum Banda Barocca
September 1, 2021
Tonight’s program takes us to Schaffhausen’s Kirche St. Johann for a program of Janitsch, Johannes Bach, and Johann Sebastian Bach, presented by two young ensembles based in Basel: Cafebaum Banda Barocca and vocal ensemble Voces Suaves. Recorded live in concert May 12, 2018 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland’s Bach Festival. Thanks to WFMT’s association with the European Broadcasting Union, we’ll be able ...
Profeti della Quinta: Salamone Rossi & Claudio Monteverdi
August 25, 2021
Profeti della Quinta presents psalm settings by Claudio Monteverdi and Salamone Rossi, both employed at Mantua’s Gonzaga court. The Israeli ensemble, directed by Elam Rotem, focuses on the vocal repertoire of the late Renaissance, specializing in Hebrew vocal music. Tonight’s program was recorded live in concert June 25, 2021, as part of the Thuringia Bach Festival, whose theme for the ...
Cantatio presents “Alexander’s Feast”
August 18, 2021
On this edition of Baroque&Before, Ensemble Cantatio presents an ode with a libretto in English written by the German composer who, in addition to his English oratorios, was known for his Italian operas. Tonight, Handel’s ode to Saint Cecilia, Alexander’s Feast, with Ensemble Cantatio, directed by its founder John Duxbury. Tonight’s music was recorded live in concert October 27, 2020 ...
Pallas Nordica: Music for Queen Christina
August 11, 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 ...
August 4, 2021
On this edition of Baroque&Before, historically-informed violinist Eva Saladin, baroque cellist Daniel Rosin, and harpsichordist Johannes Keller present works by composers who lived or worked in Naples in the 18th century: Mascitti, Matteis, Cailò, Scarlatti, Lonati, and Piani. Tonight’s program was recorded on January 20, 2021 in Basel’s Stadtcasino, as part of the Basel Early Music Festival. Thanks to WFMT’s ...
Bach’s Mass in B Minor
July 28, 2021
Although written in the last years of his life, Bach’s Mass in B Minor had its beginnings some 15 years earlier. Never performed during Bach’s lifetime, the Mass in B Minor is rightly revered as one of mankind’s greatest musical and spiritual achievements. On this edition of Baroque&Before, Ivor Bolton leads Balthasar Neumann Chorus and B’Rock Orchestra in Bach’s masterwork. ...
Baroque delights – Maurice Steger & La Cetra Basel
July 21, 2021
Recorder virtuoso Maurice Steger and La Cetra Baroque Orchestra Basel were among the guest artists at the Engadin Festival, held since 1941 in & around St Moritz in Switzerland. The program is titled Baroque Delights, and that’s exactly what we’ll hear. Tonight’s program was recorded August 6, 2020, in the Reithalle, St. Moritz, as part of the Engadin Festival’s “Concerts ...
Hildegard von Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum
July 14, 2021
Twelfth-century mystic, writer, philosopher, and composer Hildegard von Bingen used all her gifts in the service of her unfaltering Christian faith which she channeled through her music in the morality play Ordo Virtutum (Order of the Virtues.) Comprising 82 songs in rhyme, Hildegard lays out the battle between good and evil; the Devil tempting the Soul to give in to ...
Solomon Rossi & His Contemporaries
July 7, 2021
Soprano Sherezade Panthaki joins Philharmonia Baroque Chamber Players and members of the Philharmonia Chorale, under the direction of Nicholas McGegan, for Italian baroque music of the synagogue, the theater, and the court: sacred and secular works by Salamone Rossi, Claudio Monteverdi, and Benedetto Marcello. Tonight’s program was recorded live in concert April 8, 2018, in the Performance Hall of the ...
The Fortunes of Andromeda and Perseus: Spain’s First Opera
June 30, 2021
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 ...
Ignacio Prego: El Canto del Cavallero
June 23, 2021
Spanish harpsichordist Ignacio Prego presents a program of keyboard music at the Spanish Court during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. It’s a fascinating musical journey through three centuries of Spanish keyboard music, starting with the Court of Felipe II. This was Baroque&Before’s inaugural program, first heard January 2, 2014. Recorded live in concert October 31, 2013 at Instituto Cervantes ...
El Gran Teatro Del Mundo: The Lullists; German Baroque Music à la française
June 16, 2021
A program of “goût réuni,” or united taste, brings us the music of German composers inspired and influenced by the French style. Known as “Lullists” after Jean-Baptiste Lully, works Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer, Georg Muffat, and Georg Philipp Telemann are featured this week, presented by El Gran Teatro Del Mundo under the direction of Julio Caballero Pérez. Tonight’s program was ...
Huelgas Ensemble: A Polyphonic Testament of Josquin Desprez
June 9, 2021
The Huelgas Ensemble presents a concert of motets, chansons, and mass fragments by Josquin Desprez, the French Renaissance composer who is remembered as one of the great exemplars of the Golden Age of Counterpoint. In the words of Founder and Artistic Director of the Huelgas Ensemble, Paul Van Nevel, “Josquin was a pioneer. He mastered all the contrapuntal techniques to ...
Jordi Savall: Works by Diego Ortiz & Joan Cererols
June 2, 2021
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.