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Biscuits and Bach
Sundays, 7 - 11 a.m.
Overview | Biscuit Tin Recipes | Rachel Stewart bio

Rachel StewartBiscuits & 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.

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Program Schedule
November 29, 2015
St. John/Langlamet: Bach Sonatas
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Bach Sonatas by Lara St. John (violin) and Marie-Pierre Langlamet (harp) album cover.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.

Purchase Featured CD: Bach: Sonatas / St. John, Langlamet

November 22, 2015
Haimovitz: Bach's Cello Suites
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bix-151122A 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.

Purchase Featured CD: Haimovitz: J.S. Bach: The Cello Suites According to Anna Magdalena

Learn more about Peter Reinhart and try his Thanksgiving bread recipes

November 15, 2015
Veracini: Sonate Accademiche
Veracini: Complete Sonate Accademiche/Trio SettecentoAlthough Francesco Maria Veracini wrote a number of concertos and orchestral suites, he is mainly remembered for his violin sonatas, most notably his Opus 2 collection of twelve sonatas, Sonate Accademiche. These works were once staples of the violin repertoire of the 18th century but have long been virtually forgotten. With their new 3-CD album, Trio Settecento makes us notice them again. Veracini was one of the greatest violinist/composers of the 18th century, and Trio Settecento violinist Rachel Barton Pine states in the album’s liner notes, “…they exemplify the greatest achievements of virtuosity and imagination in the High Baroque.” We’ll listen to several tracks of Veracini’s genius this week.

Purchase Featured CD: Veracini: Sonate Accademiche / Trio Settecento

November 8, 2015
The Sixteen: Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki
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csip 6 squareGrzegorz Gorczycki was known as the “Polish Handel” during his lifetime and is regarded as the outstanding Polish composer of the high baroque. He studied in Prague and Vienna in his early years and returned to Kraków in 1690 where he took holy orders. Gorczycki was widely respected not only for his music but also for his work as a priest. He was known for his kindness to the poor, and his tombstone reads “Jewel of Priests.” So it’s fitting that we sample a new recording of Gorczycki’s sacred music by The Sixteen led by Associate Conductor, Eamonn Dougan. We also hear from violinist Gil Shaham who talks with Rachel about his recent album of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Unaccompanied Violin and about his guilty breakfast pleasure. You’ll have to listen to find out what it is.

Purchase the Featured CD: Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki: Conductus Funebris

Learn more about Gil Shaham and his CD J S Bach, Sonatas and Partitas 

November 1, 2015
Isbin: Lute Suites
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bixbachguitar squareSharon Isbin calls J.S. Bach’s Lute Suites “among the most challenging and musically rewarding works in the classical guitar repertoire.” She was the first classical guitarist to perform and record Bach on guitar with baroque performance practice techniques, and for her 1989 recording of the Lute Suites, Isbin collaborated with noted Bach scholar and keyboard artist Rosalyn Tureck on the editions performed on the disc. That milestone recording has just been re-released on Erato/Warner Classics, and we feature it this week. Rachel also talks with Winston-Salem based composer Dan Locklair about his new Requiem which has its premiere November 1st. Locklair is a world renowned composer with numerous commissions in all genres, but this is his first Requiem. He talks about the significance of writing this monumental work.

Purchase Featured CD: Sharon Isbin: Bach for Guitar

Related: Read more about the Requiem premiere and visit the Dan Locklair site

October 24, 2015
Hurford: Organ Concertos
Bach: Organ Concertos / Hurford, Hickox, Northern Sinfonia CD coverAlthough he was renowned as a great organist in his day, Bach did not leave us any organ concertos that we know of. This week we’ll listen to a 1990 album of organ concertos reconstructed by R.J. Schureck who took movements from Cantatas to create some of them and reworked an abandoned violin concerto to create another. The recording features organist Peter Hurford who plays the organ in the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall at the University of York in England. And the late Richard Hickox leads the Northern Sinfonia.

Purchase Featured CD: Bach: Organ Concertos / Hurford, Hickox, Northern Sinfonia | on iTunes
October 18, 2015
Flute Concertos from Sanssouci
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Sanssouci coverFrederick the Great of Prussia may have had a genius for warfare, but when he wasn't on the battlefield, he was making music. An avid amateur flutist and composer, Frederick employed some of Germany's great musicians at his court including Franz Benda, Johann Joachim Quantz and C.P.E. Bach. This week we'll listen to tracks from the album Flute Concertos from Sanssouci that feature the work of Frederick and his composers. We'll also chat with local author Gilda Morina Syverson who has written a memoire chronicling her journey to Italy with her Italian father. It's a tale of ancestry, heritage, family and food called My Father's Daughter, from Rome to Sicily.

Purchase Featured CDFlute Concertos from Sanssouci | on iTunes

: Purchase My Father's Daughter, from Rome to Sicily or shop for it locally at at Main Street Books in Davidson and Park Road Books in Charlotte.
October 11, 2015
Wassenaer: Concerti Armonici
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Wilhelm van Wassenaer: Concerti Armonici, Aradia Ensemble/Kevin MallonDutch nobleman Count Unico Wilhelm van Wassenaer led a somewhat secret life as a composer during the baroque era. He went to pains to keep his work anonymous and until recent times, most of his output was attributed to other composers like Carlo Ricciotti and Pergolesi. This week we'll listen to several of his Concerti Armonici which were included in a posthumously published edition of Pergolesi's works. And Rachel will talk to Barbara Kopald of the Symphony Guild of Charlotte and Blake Hartwick, Executive Chef at Bonterra, about the Guild's upcoming Heart of the Home Kitchen tour.

Purchase Featured CD: Wilhelm van Wassenaer: Concerti Armonici

Program Audio: Biscuit Chat: Barbara Kopald and Blake Hartwick

Learn More:
Heart of the Home Kitchen Tour
Bon Terra
September 27, 2015
Vogt: Bach Goldberg Variations
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Lars Vogt: Bach Goldberg Variations album coverThis has been a banner year for new recordings of the Bach Cello Suites and Goldberg Variations. German pianist Lars Vogt  has just come out with his album of Goldberg Variations, some of Bach’s most delightful works for keyboard. Vogt spent seventeen years learning and perfecting his performance of the Goldbergs. We’ll get the benefit of that preparation on this week’s show. And Rachel talks with guitarist Peter Blanchette about his unique instrument he has named the archguitar. He also talks about how he approaches playing Bach.

Purchase Featured CD: Lars Vogt: Bach Goldberg Variations

Program Audio: Biscuit Chat: Peter Blanchette
September 20, 2015
Pine: The Viola D'amore Concertos
Vivaldi: The Complete Viola D'amore Concertos by Rachel Burton Pine, Ars Antigua album cover.Perhaps the instrument audiences most associate with Antonio Vivaldi the is the violin. With a catalog of 230 violin concerti it stands to reason. But Vivaldi, whose output was prodigious, wrote a number of concerti for other instruments as well including eight for the viola d’amore. The viola d’amore is a six or seven stringed instrument that resembles a violin but has a duplicate set of sympathetic, resonant strings which are not bowed. Leopold Mozart once wrote that it sounded "especially charming in the stillness of the evening." Violinist Rachel Barton Pine has been a longtime fan of the viola d’amore, and she’s just released her first album featuring this beautiful baroque instrument and all eight of Vivaldi’s concerti. We’ll listen to several tracks this week.

Purchase Featured Album: Vivaldi: The Complete Viola D'amore Concertos
September 13, 2015
Hancoff: Suites for Cello Solo, for Acoustic Guitar
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Steven Hancoff: The Six Suites for 'Cello Solo, J. Sebastian Bach, For Acoustic GuitarAfter many years of study and preparation, guitarist Steven Hancoff has recorded his guitar transcription of Bach's Suites for Cello Solo. This week he talks to us about why he embarked on this journey and about the remarkable story of how these once little known suites became a favorite of modern audiences and an essential part of the cello canon. We'll also sample his recording, From Tragedy to Transcendence: The Six Suites for Cello Solo for Acoutstic Guitar.

Purchase Featured Album: Six Suites for 'Cello Solo for Acoustic Guitar CDbaby | iTunes

September 6, 2015
Staier: Harpsichord Concertos
[pictured album cover] Johann Sebastian Bach, Harpsichord Concertos, Freiburger Barockorchester, Andreas Staier harpsichordBach's seven keyboard concertos are special in several ways. They are major and pivotal works in the development of the concertante form. And they are some of the few compositions by Bach that have come down to us in the form of an autographed score which has been a boon to many a musicologist and musician. Harpsichordist Andreas Staier has just release a new double album of all seven works recorded with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and Petra Mullejans. It's our featured recording this week.

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