Biscuits & Bach is a four-hour program hosted by Rachel Stewart and featuring music from the Renaissance to the Baroque and beyond. Rachel welcomes the occasional guest and shares a recipe or two. It's food for the soul and soul food on a Sunday morning.
May 29, 2016 Galway: Bach trio sonatas Listen Now In Bach’s day, the flute was coming into its own having seen several technological improvements that made it easier to play and nicer to hear. Bach used the flute often in his cantatas and instrumental music, and on the recording Bach, Vol. 2, Sir James Galway and friends explore the sound of several trio sonatas played on modern instruments. We’ll sample that album as well as listen to a conversation with Sir James that touches on everything from Mozart to Pink Floyd to Bach to grits.
May 22, 2016 Midori & Zuckerman: Double Concertos Violinist Midori dazzled the world when Zubin Mehta put her on stage with the New York Philharmonic when she was just 10 years old back in 1982. Four years later, she recorded her debut album of Bach and Vivaldi concertos with mentor Pinchas Zukerman and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. This week we’ll listen to selections from one of the twentieth century’s most remarkable prodigies and enjoy being dazzled all over again.
May 15, 2016 Mortensen: Harpsichord Concertos Listen Now When Bach worked in Leipzig, he was employed by no fewer than three churches all of which demanded new music for services along with choir directing. Leading the afternoon concerts of the Collegium, made up of student and professional musicians, must have provided a refreshing change of pace, especially since it gave him an opportunity to write instrumental compositions. His keyboard concertos, created by orchestrating movements from his cantatas, were almost surely on those programs. This week we listen to harpsichordist Lars Ulrik Mortensen and Concerto Copenhagen perform several of these great works. And Rachel talks with Tom Lewtak, an NC organ maker, about his unusual occupation.
May 8, 2016 Hewitt: English Suite Fans of Bach’s keyboard music will enjoy this week’s show. We’ll explore selections from the acclaimed 2003 recording by pianist Angela Hewitt of the English Suites. The naming of these suites has always been something of a mystery. They are not influenced by any English style or music. In fact they are an inspired union of the Italian concerto form, the French dance style and German counterpoint. One possible origin of the name may be found in a note written on a score copy owned by Christian Bach, Johann Sebastian’s youngest son. It reads “fait pour les Anglois” (done for the English). Regardless of why they were written or for whom, the English Suites remain an important part of Bach’s keyboard oeuvre.
May 1, 2016 Handel Organ Concertos In addition to being a beloved composer in his day, George Frideric Handel was famous for his prowess as an organist. He often played the organ as an opening act for his longer theatrical works. It was a brilliant marketingploy since patrons flocked to hear his performances. He wrote his Opus 4 organ concertos for such occasions, and this week we’ll hear a recording of them from 2008 featuring Richard Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music.
April 24, 2016 Les Violons du Roy: Vivaldi Listen Now
French-Canadian chamber ensemble, Les Violons du Roy, has just released a new album of Vivaldi’s concertos. The group uses copies of period bows on modern instruments, and their approach to the music is informed by research into performance practice of the 17th and 18th centuries. We’ll hear several tracks from the album this week. We also talk with Charlotte area artist and author Gilda Morina Syverson about her memoire, My Father’s Daughter, From Rome to Sicily, a story of family relationships and heritage.
April 17, 2016 Sudbin: Scarlatti sonatas Pianist Yevgeny Sudbin recently released an album of sonatas by Dominico Scarlatti. Although Scarlatti wrote with the harpsichord in mind, Sudbin plays them on a piano showing just how well they sound on the modern instrument. We’ll sample several tracks this week.
April 10, 2016 Carpenter: The 12 Seasons Listen Now We have heard Vivaldi’s Four Seasons violin concertos transcribed for flute, recorder, mandolin, guitar quartet…but not yet for viola. Until now. New York City-based violist David Aaron Carpenter is featured with his own ensemble, the Salome Chamber Orchestra, from their new album on the Warner Classics label, The 12 Seasons. In addition to Vivaldi's heralded set of concerti, the album contains season themed music by Piazzolla and Alexey Shor. Slated for release on April 15th, we get a sneak preview this week. We also chat with the creators of the Great North Carolina BBQ Map which is a great visual guide to the best 'cue around the state.
April 3, 2016 Brook Street Band: Handel Trio Sonatas Listen Now The Brook Street Band celebrates their 20th anniversary with a new album release featuring Handel's Trio Sonatas for violins and continuo. The band's name comes from the street in London where George Frideric Handel lived and composed for most of his working life. Matt Rogers hosts this week as we feature selections from their new album. And Rachel talks with Karen Sullivan, co-chair of the upcoming Global Table Culinary Walking Tourin Charlotte, NC. Sullivan tells us about how the event came together and what you can expect.
March 27, 2016 Arion: Suites & Concertos Tune in for Baroque-era music written for Easter. We'll listen to one of Bach's earliest cantatas, "Christ lay in the bonds of death" as well as a selection from Handel's oratorio, "The Resurrection." We'll also explore some of Bach's instrumental music found on the 2001 album, Bach: Suites and Concertos, by Arion with Jaap ter Linden conducting. Listen for favorites like the Orchestral Suite No. 1 and the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5.
March 20, 2016 Pine: Sonatas and Partitas After many years of studying Bach’s sonatas and partitas for solo violin, Rachel Barton Pine has decided the time is right to release her recording of these hallowed works. We will preview her new double album, Testament: Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by J.S. Bach, this week. And we’ll welcome Rachel Barton Pine to the program for a conversation about why these works are important, why she chose to record them in St. Paul’s Church of Christ in Chicago and how she is raising her young daughter while maintaining her busy schedule.
March 13, 2016 Tribute to Nicholas Harnoncourt Listen Now The early music world lost one of its finest conductors on March 5, 2016. This week we pay tribute to Nicholas Harnoncourt as we listen to some of his superb recordings of Bach cantatas. We’ll sample the 60-CD box set of the complete Bach Sacred Cantatas that Harnoncourt recorded with his ensemble, Concentus Musicus Vienna, Chorus Viennensis and the Vienna Boys Choir. And Rachel will chat with local musicians Barbara Krumdieck of the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra and Christopher Gilliam of the Lake Norman Choral Artists. They will perform Bach’s Cantata 106 “Actus Tragicus” among other works. Find out why these two groups like to collaborate with each other.