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 ...
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 ...
Baroque&Before Remembers Julian Bream
August 26, 2020
It is difficult to summarize in a few words the contribution to music made by Julian Bream, the English guitarist and lutenist who died August 14 at the age of 87. Along with Andrés Segovia, Bream is regarded as the most charismatic and influential classical guitarist of the 20th century. Although his repertoire spanned the centuries, on this edition of ...
Les chemins hébraïques du baroque
August 12, 2020
Passionate about Hebraic spiritual traditions, Benedetto Marcello was inspired by the extraordinary faith he encountered in the synagogues of early 18th-century Venice. Selections from Marcello’s settings of poetic paraphrases of the Psalms of David with Hebraic intonations are presented by Ensemble XVIII-21 Le Baroque Nomade, founded in 1995 by Jean-Christope Frisch as XVIII-21 Musique de Lumières. A world premiere, recorded ...
Tiana Early Music Festival: Organs tell songs; Los órganos dizen chaçones
August 5, 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, ...
Hildegard von Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum
July 29, 2020
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 ...
La Stagione: Liebe, was ist schöner als die Liebe
July 1, 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
June 10, 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
June 3, 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 ...
Heinrich Schütz: Musikalische Exequien
May 27, 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 ...