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.
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 ...
Vox Luminis: Buxtehude’s Abendmusik
November 18, 2020
During the latter third of the 17th century, St. Mary’s Church in the city of Lübeck had, as its organist, the best in the world: Dietrich Buxtehude. His peers, Handel and Bach, traveled to this ‘free’ city in northern Germany to admire Buxtehude’s skills with the instrument. Buxtehude had succeeded Franz Tunder, who had established some evening concerts outside the ...
O, Jerusalem! Crossroads of Three Faiths with Apollo’s Fire
November 11, 2020
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, ...
Profile: Jaap Schröder
November 4, 2020
On this week’s edition of Baroque&Before, we celebrate violinist Jaap Schröder, 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 L Gray Library.
Voces Suaves & Cafebaum Banda Barocca
October 28, 2020
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 ...
Organist Jean Guillou: An Appreciation
October 21, 2020
French organist, composer, pedagogue and organ builder Jean Guillou died January 26, 2019 at the age of 88. This week we offer an appreciation of Jean Guillou, titular organist at L’Église St. Eustache in Paris for 52 years. We’ll explore his contribution to 17th- and 18th-century organ performance practice through his interpretations of Vivaldi, Bach, and more. Recordings used in ...
Bach’s Mass in B Minor
October 14, 2020
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. ...
17th-century English Songs
October 7, 2020
Music has always been played and heard everywhere: in the street, at home, in religious settings, and in the theater. Soprano Carolyn Sampson and lutenist Matthew Wadsworth present a program of some of their favorite 17th-century English songs, touching all corners of society, from plaintive folks songs and ballads to the genius and depths of Dowland, Johnson, and Purcell. Recorded ...
The Schwanengesang of Heinrich Schütz
September 30, 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 ...
Solomon Rossi & His Contemporaries
September 23, 2020
For the Jewish High Holy Days, 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, ...
Ignacio Prego: El Canto del Cavallero
September 16, 2020
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 ...
Jordi Savall: Works by Diego Ortiz & Joan Cererols
September 9, 2020
This week’s program begins at 10:30pm, following an encore presentation by Music of the Baroque of Mendelssohn’s oratorio “Elijah.” 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 ...
Venetian Baroque Masterpieces
September 2, 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 ...