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.

Jordi Savall: El Llibre Vermell de Montserrat

August 14, 2019

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 the pilgrims to the Catalonian Montserrat Monastery. Tonight we hear selections from the 6 music folios contained in El Llibre Vermell, presented by ...

Ave Atque Vale: Hail & Farewell, Anner Bylsma

August 7, 2019

Called the “Rostropovich of the baroque cello” by the Boston Globe, Anner Bylsma was one of the leading cellists in the world. On this edition of Baroque&Before, we remember Dutch cellist Anner Bylsma, who died July 25, 2019 at the age of 85. We say Ave Atque Vale — Hail & Farewell, and share his recordings of Bach, Corelli, and ...

Telemann in Paradise

July 31, 2019

At the age of 24, Telemann received an invitation to become Kapellmeister for the court of Count Erdmann II of Promnitz at Sorau — now Żary — in Poland. The young composer was inspired by the melodies and the skills in improvisation of the Polish folk musicians. The music he sought out and absorbed during his brief stay in Poland ...

Morgenstern: 15th-century German & Polish Treasures

July 24, 2019

On this week’s edition of Baroque&Before, Corina Marti and Roger Hélou present arrangements for recorders, clavisymbalum, and organetto of works from three fifteenth-century collections of original compositions and arrangements: The Buxheimer Orgelbuch, the Glogauer Liederbuch, and the Lochhamer Liederbuch. Recorded live in concert August 18, 2017 in the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Paradyż, Poland ...

Soli Deo Gloria Festival: Bach’s Reformation Cantatas

July 17, 2019

Founded in 1968 by conductor Frieder Bernius, The Stuttgart Chamber Choir (Kammerchor Stuttgart) is devoted to historically informed performances. Tonight we hear three choral masterworks by Bach. Recorded live in concert June 6, 2017, in St. Martin’s Church, Braunschweig (Brunswick) Germany, as part of the 2017 Soli Deo Gloria Festival. Thanks to WFMT’s association with the European Broadcasting Union, we ...

The Birth of The Violin

July 10, 2019

Specializing in music of the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, Le Miroir de Musique presents a program of works from the Franco-Flemish school that had been flourishing in Italy since the middle of the 15th century as well as works from the pure Italian style that were in the process of being reborn. Recorded in Lausanne, Switzerland’s Église de ...

Gems of the Bohemian Reformation

July 3, 2019

Vojtěch Semerád leads the Cappella Mariana Choir and Capella Ornamentata Instrumental Ensemble in sacred and secular works by Italian, Flemish, and Czech composers during the reign of Emperor Rudolph II. Recorded live in concert November 10, 2017, in Herne’s Kreuzkirche, as part of the Early Music Days Festival held in the German City of Herne. Thanks to WFMT’s association with ...

O Dolce Mio Tesoro

June 26, 2019

Collegium Vocale Gent presents a program of madrigals by Carlo Gesualdo di Venosa, a member of the nobility who composed for his own pleasure, creating works that harmonically were some 300 years ahead of their time. Lutenist Thomas Dunford is heard in works by Kapsberger and Dowland. Recorded live in concert May 31 in Sion, Switzerland.

Lars Vogt & Bach’s Goldberg Variations

June 19, 2019

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 ...

Alessandro Scarlatti: San Casimiro, re di Polonia

June 12, 2019

Premiering in Florence in 1705, Alessandro Scarlatti’s oratorio for 5 solo voices and instrumental ensemble presents an allegory on the temptations by Regio Fasto (Royal Splendor) and Amor Profano (Profane Love) on Poland’s patron saint, the 15th century Prince Kazimierz, with Castità (Chastity) and Umiltà (Humility) triumphant in the struggle for Prince Casimir’s soul. Recorded live in concert July 15, ...

The Five Kingdoms of Mediæval Spain

June 5, 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 ...

Codex Calixtinus: Vespers of Saint James

May 29, 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 ...

Jordi Savall: Works by Diego Ortiz & Joan Cererols

May 22, 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.

The Piper & The Fairy Queen

May 15, 2019

Founded by the Irish harpsichordist and organist Malcolm Proud and the Swiss violinist Maya Homburger, Camerata Kilkenny is a period instrument group specializing in the performance of Baroque music. The great Uilleann piper David Power joins Camerata Kilkenny for a program of Baroque classics and traditional Irish favorites. Recorded live in concert August 10, 2018 in St Lawrence’s Church, a ...

Lumen Valo: Hymns from Mediæval & Renaissance Finland

May 8, 2019

Lutheranism was introduced gradually in Finland, which itself was a part of Sweden until 1809. The ties with Rome were broken in the 1520s, but it took almost the whole century for the Reformation to take root throughout the country. In 1582, the Finnish student Petri Rutha published a collection of popular Central European mediæval and early Renaissance songs. In ...

Sollazzo Ensemble: Contenance angloise

May 1, 2019

The Pan-European Sollazzo Ensemble, winners of the 2015 York Early Music Competition, brings its vivid style of performance to intimate and profound music that still speaks to us through the centuries. The program presents a fascinating example of a 15th century English cultural export: the so-called contenance angloise or English manner. This distinctive style of polyphony, developed in fifteenth-century England, ...

Songs & Laments of the Sephardim

April 24, 2019

A special Passover edition of Baroque&Before. As Jews all over the world celebrate Passover this week, Baroque&Before remembers the story of the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt and the transition from slavery to freedom. This week’s program is one of sacred, paraliturgical, celebratory, and secular music of the Jews of the Mediterranean: Spain, Greece, Italy, and the Ottoman Empire.

Pergolesi: Septem verba a Christo

April 17, 2019

Now attributed to Giovanni Battista Pergolesi on the basis of the most recent research, the Seven Words of Christ has been regarded, ever since it was discovered by Hermann Scherchen, as “one of the most heartfelt works of art, full of profound tenderness and an all-conquering sense of beauty.” Written during the last three years of life, the Septem verba ...

Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble: Musical Treasures at the Swedish Royal Court

April 10, 2019

Founded in 1971, the Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble presents late 17th- and early 18th-century music from Germany, Italy, Poland, and Sweden, including three works from the composer known as “The Swedish Handel.” Recorded live in concert January 21, 2017, in the Auditorium of Radio France Broadcasting House, Paris. Thanks to Classical WFMT’s association with the European Broadcasting Union, we’re able to ...

La Meridiana & Les voyages de l’amour: French Music for Woodwinds

April 3, 2019

Celebrating its 13th anniversary this year, Ensemble Meridiana’s five members come from four different countries, having met during their studies at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland, where they specialized in early music. For its program Les voyages de l’amour, Ensemble Meridiana is joined by Mirko Arnone playing theorbo and Baroque guitar. Recorded live in concert in Rougemont, Switzerland’s Church ...

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