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 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.
February 28, 2016 Dijkstra: Bach Motets Today, Bach’s music is so revered that it’s hard to imagine and understand his lack of popularity in the decades after his death. Between 1750 when he died and the Bach Revival of the 19th century, much of his output was neglected, and the only vocal works that were performed regularly were his motets. This week we’ll listen to three of these beautiful works from the 2008 critically acclaimed album by the Netherlands Chamber Choir led by Peter Dijkstra.
February 21, 2016 A French Soirée Trio Settecento featuring violinist Rachel Barton Pine, viola da gamba player John Mark Rozendaal and harpsichordist David Schrader, released an album in 2011 of French baroque music called French Soirée. Barton Pine writes that, in her opinion, French music from that era does not lend itself well to being played on modern instruments. So on the recording, the stringed instruments are of the period, and the harpsichord is a replica of one that resides in the Museum of the Paris Conservatory. As we listen this week, we'll hear the difference it makes.
February 14, 2016 Bosgraaf: Ensemble Cordevento There are many opportunities for the recorder to shine in Bach's music. He uses them frequently in cantatas; the Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 puts the recorder in a solo role with trumpet, oboe and violin; and they're even used in the St. Matthew Passion. But no Bach concerto for recorder survives if indeed one was ever written. Recorder virtuoso, Erik Bosgraaf, following practices common in Bach's time, has arranged a number of Bach concertos for his instrument, and he has recorded them on the album, J.S. Bach: Concertos for Recorder. We'll listen to several tracks from it this week.
February 7, 2016 Rebel & Schwarz play Telemann Listen Now Along with Vivaldi, Telemann is the most prolific composer of double concertos. We don’t know exactly why Telemann enjoyed writing for more than one instrument or soloist, but his ability as a multi-instrumentalist himself may have had something to do with it. In 2013, Rebel, the New York based period instrument ensemble, released an album called Telemann: Double Concerti for Winds and Strings that celebrates some of his many works in this genre. It’s our featured album this week. And Rachel concludes her conversation with Fiona Ritchie about Ritchie’s book, Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia. Researching the book led to some surprising discoveries.
January 31, 2016 Savall: Les Elements Listen Now Jordi Savall and The Concert of Nations have a new double album that explores the art of tone painting in baroque music. What is that? Much like their Romantic era descendants, Baroque composers liked to create visual pictures and evoke the natural world through their music. On Les Éléments: Tempêtes, Orages and Fêtes Marines, Savall and company demonstrate how vividly composers like Rebel, Marais, Vivaldi and others are able to convey the forces of nature in their compositions. And this week Rachel continues the three-part conversation with Fiona Ritchie about the book Wayfaring Strangers which traces the musical connections between Scotland, Ulster and Appalachia. Ritchie discusses a few food connections as well.