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.
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.
January 24, 2016 Chanticleer: Matins for the Virgin of Guadalupe This week we'll hear some selections from Chanticleer's 1998 album, Matins for the Virgin of Guadalupe, that were written for the Catholic Church by composers living in the Americas. And Rachel will talk to Fiona Ritchie of NPR's The Thistle and Shamrock about her book Wayfaring Strangers which explores the many connections between the music of Scotland and Ireland and the southern Appalachians.
January 17, 2016 Ensemble Caprice: Voices of Eternity Listen Now
In the baroque era, the chaconne was a popular musical form characterized by the repetition of a single harmonic motif. The new album from Ensemble Caprice, Chaconne - Voices of Eternity, explores this genre from its folk music roots to the celebrated Chaconne BWV 1004 by J.S. Bach. We'll hear several selections from the record including the Bach masterpiece. And Rachel chats with Dr. Timothy O'Lenic about his new breakfast cookbook, Breakfast at Timothy's. Get some good advice from the doctor about the most important meal of the day.
January 10, 2016 Feinberg: Fugue State Fugues were central to musical composition in the Baroque era. Their counterpoint was incorporated into many musical forms. J.S. Bach is probably the most famous fugue writer, but other Baroque composers made good use of them as well, Buxtehude and Handel for example. Often fugues were used to teach music theory or contrapuntal techniques, and because of this they are associated with the intellectual side of music. However, on his new album, Fugue State, pianist Alan Feinberg makes the case for the surprising passion and personal expression found in Baroque fugues. We’ll listen to several tracks from this recording to see if we agree.
Alina Ibragimova memorized Proms audiences with her solo violin Bach performances, which led her to record a series of Bach Violin Concertos. The Russian born artist, who moved with her family to the UK at a young age, worked with the noted group Arcangelo under the direction of conductor Jonathan Cohen to create the album. Frank Dominguez hosts this week as we feature selections from the Fall 2015 album.
December 27, 2015 Jeanne Lamon & Tafelmusik: Bach Violin Concertos Listen Now One of the premier early music ensembles, Tafelmusk from Canada, has been around since 1979. Violinist Jeanne Lamon has been their artistic director since 1981. Over the years they've amassed an impressive catalog of recordings, and this week we'll check out the 1995 album of Bach Violin Concertos. Lamon is in the spotlight most of the time but is joined by other Tafelmusik luminaries, Linda Melsted and David Greenburg for the concertos requiring more than one violin. And Rachel talks with Celtic fiddler Jamie Laval about his Christmas in Scotland programs that he performs in our area this week.
Tune in for a special "Baroque for Christmas" edition of Biscuits and Bach. As part of this annual tradition, we'll feature John Butt leading the Edinburgh-based ensemble Dunedin Consort in Bach's Magnificat.
December 13, 2015 Dijkstra: Bach Christmas Oratorio
Bach wrote his beloved Christmas Oratorio in 1734 for the upcoming Christmas season utilizing his tried and true time-saving practice of recycling pieces from earlier cantatas to flesh out this larger work. The oratorio is in six parts, each part being intended for performance on one of the major feast days of the Christmas period. It was first performed during the 1734-35 Christmas season but was subsequently forgotten. It wasn't performed again until 1857 in Berlin. This week we'll hear the first three parts of the oratorio from a brand new recording featuring the Academy for Ancient Music, Berlin and the Bavarian Radio Chorus and soloists, all led by the Dutch conductor, Peter Dijkstra.
December 6, 2015 Praetorius: Christmas Vespers Listen Now Michael Praetorius was born into a German family with close ties to Martin Luther. His father was one of Luther's students. With Luther's emphasis on creating a body of music for congregations to incorporate into worship, it's not surprising that Praetorius became, along with Bach, one of the most important composers of Protestant church music. This week we'll listen to an album of Praetorius Christmas Vespers from Jeannette Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire. If you've ever wanted to participate in a Messiah Sing-Along, Rachel gives you information about one happening in Davidson and talks to choral director Christopher Gilliam about how he plans to manage such a large group of performers. Purchase Featured CD: Christmas Vespers: Music of Michael Praetorius Apollo's Fire
November 29, 2015 St. John/Langlamet: Bach Sonatas Listen Now Normally, you'd hear Bach's Violin Sonatas played on violin and harpsichord. But taking a cue from the great master himself who adapted his music to the available musicians and instruments, violinist Lara St. John and harpist Marie-Pierre Langlemet arranged an album's worth of sonatas for their own instruments. The result is a fresh perspective on these masterpieces. We feature this 2012 recording this week. And WDAV's Frank Dominguez talks with St. John, not about Bach, but about breakfast.
November 22, 2015 Haimovitz: Bach's Cello Suites Listen Now A number of recordings of Bach's Cello Suites have been released in recent months, each of them with the performers' unique approach to playing these much loved works by Bach. For his new album, cellist Matt Haimovitz has spent time studying the copies of Bach's original score made by his second wife, Anna Magdelena which he believes are the closest in spirit to the original. We'll hear Haimovitz's interpretations on this week's program. And with Turkey Day just around the corner, Rachel chats with Peter Reinhart, Chef on Assignment at Johnson & Wales University about holiday baking.