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.
Jordi Savall: Works by Diego Ortiz & Joan Cererols
August 10, 2022
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.
Portuguese Baroque Chamber Music
March 16, 2022
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 17, 2021 in the National Palace of Queluz. Due to ...
Folías & Romanescas: Jordi Savall & Hespèrion XXI
March 9, 2022
Jordi Savall, a major figure in Early Music for almost half a century, has dedicated himself to rediscovering lost musical gems. He’s recorded more than 230 albums of music from the Middle Ages to Baroque, bringing to light Hispanic and Mediterranean musical treasures. Savall first appeared at the Ascona Music Festival in 2009. Savall returned to Ascona with Hespèrion XXI ...
Ave Atque Vale: We Remember Nigel Rogers
March 2, 2022
In the words of harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, “There are few who can lay claim to have rediscovered an entire art, but Nigel Rogers earned the right to be one of those people who’ve changed musical performance forever. Before him, the true sound of Monteverdi and Cavalli and Cesti and Caccini was impossible to know, and after him, it will never ...
Profile: Jaap Schröder
February 23, 2022
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.
Ars Subtilior: Ballades, Rondeaux & Virelais
February 16, 2022
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 ...
A Portuguese Pilgrimage
February 2, 2022
On this week’s edition of Baroque&Before, Giulio Prandi leads the Ghislieri Chorus, Orchestra, and soloists in Mattutino de’ Morti by Davide Perez, born in Naples of Spanish heritage. The work, written when he was mestre de capela at the court of José I, is considered the most significant musical work of 18th century Portugal. Selections from Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki’s Conductus ...
Bach in Norway
January 19, 2022
Under the direction of Bjarte Eike, Barokkanerne and vocal soloists present two relatively unknown masterpieces by Bach.
Organist Jean Guillou: An Appreciation
January 12, 2022
An appreciation of French organist, composer, pedagogue and organ builder Jean Guillou, titular organist at L’Église St. Eustache in Paris for 52 years.
Ave Atque Vale: Hail & Farewell
January 5, 2022
As 2022 begins, we remember the life and work of three classical artists who died in the year 2021. Each, in his or her own way, was dedicated to the performance and diffusion of early music: violinist Jeanne Lamon, pianist Nelson Freire, and harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper. We laud them tonight and say Ave atque vale — hail and farewell, with ...
15th&16th-Century Christmas Music from Saxony
December 22, 2021
For this special Christmas edition of Baroque&Before, The Renaissance Men vocal ensemble, dedicated to the polyphonic vocal music of the 16th century, presents a program centered around the Christmas mass by the Meissen school cantor Wolfgang Figulus. Tonight’s program was recorded December 1, 2021 in the Stiftskirche Bassum, a thirteenth-century church with both Romanesque and Gothic elements. Thanks to WFMT’s ...
A Romanesque Christmas
December 15, 2021
On this first of two special Christmas editions of Baroque&Before, we are afforded the rare opportunity outside of Spain to hear the Mallorcan version of El Cant de la Sibil.la; the Song of the Sybil, as it has been re-enacted in the churches of Mallorca every Christmas Eve since the 15th century, as well as throughout Spain as early as ...
Dueling Viols: Vivaldi, Gregori, Dall’Abaco & Brescianello
December 8, 2021
Along with being known as a composer, which is how we know Antonio Vivaldi today, the great Italian Baroque master was a renowned violin virtuoso as well; no further evidence is needed than the famous violin concertos The Four Seasons. When Vivaldi composed for several instruments, it becomes clear that there were others in his time who could also find ...
Les chemins hébraïques du baroque
December 1, 2021
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 ...
A Mass against the Black Death: Benevoli’s Missa in angustia pestilentiae
November 24, 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 ...
Corund Ensemble & Tomás Luis de Victoria
November 17, 2021
Known as the “Spanish Palestrina,” Tomás Luis de Victoria has been called the greatest of all Iberian composers. Corund, the Swiss vocal ensemble founded in Lucerne in 1993 and specializing in sacred music of the Renaissance and Baroque, presents a concert of sacred works by Tomás Luis. The Requiem Mass, composed for the funeral of the Empress Maria, is the ...
Slavonic Baroque with Collegium 1704
November 10, 2021
Václav Luks leads Collegium 1704 and Collegium Vocale 1704 in Baroque works by Slavic composers: Poland’s Marcin Mielczewski and Bartłomiej Pękiel, and Bohemia’s Jan Dismas Zelenka. Tonight’s program was recorded live in concert August 24, 2021, in the Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, as part of the 17th international music festival titled Chopin and Europe. We won’t hear works by Chopin ...
Three Austrian Musketeers: Aufschnaiter, Muffat & Mayr
November 3, 2021
Austrian music of the baroque era was strongly influenced by the contemporary music of Italy, France, Spain, and Hungary, as well as the Slavic lands. On this edition of Baroque&Before, you’ll hear those influences in distinctly Austrian works by Benedikt Anton Aufschnaiter, Georg Muffat, and Rupert Ignaz Mayr, performed by the period instrument ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria. Tonight’s program was ...
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 ...
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, ...