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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.

Add your recipes and comments to the Biscuit Tin


Link to podcast
Program Schedule
July 24, 2016
Music from the English Courts

Music from the English Courts, Handel, Purcell and Locke - Fine Arts Brass Ensemble - album cover.The English royal courts of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries were active music centers and attracted the best composers who created some of England's finest music. The likes of John Dowland, Henry Purcell and George Frideric Handel all received royal patronage. And one king, Henry VIII, even contributed his own compositions to court festivities.This week we explore this regal music with brass arrangements played by the Fine Arts Brass Ensemble on their album Music from the English Courts.

Purchase Featured CD: Fine Arts Brass Ensemble: Music From The English Courts

July 17, 2016
A Tale of Two Seasons
Vivaldi A tale of two seasonsVivaldi’s concertos are so popular in modern times that we often forget he was a major player in the opera world of his day. This week we’ll compare and contrast early and later operatic compositions by listening to tracks from the album Vivaldi: A Tale of Two Seasons. We’ll hear works from 1717 and 1733. Listen and see if you notice innovations in Vivaldi’s compositional style. And Rachel will talk with Amanda Fisher and Paul Bright of EDIA Maps, the creators of The Great NC BBQ Map, a beautiful and handy resource for those who seek out North Carolina’s favorite food.

Purchase Featured CD: Vivaldi: A Tale of Two Seasons

Related: E.D.I.A. Map Makers


July 10, 2016
Testament
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Rachel Barton Pine, Testament album coverThis week we listen to tracks from Rachel Barton Pine's new double album, Testament, featuring Bach’s sonatas and partitas for solo violin. We’ll also chat with Pine about why these works are important, why she chose to record them now and how she is raising her young daughter while maintaining her busy schedule on the road.

Purchase Featured CD: Rachel Barton Pine: Testament: Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by J.S. Bach

Learn moreRachel Barton Pine


July 3, 2016
Reconstructions & Transcriptions for Strings

furor-musics-coverFuror Musicus, an ensemble from the Netherlands, revels in the discoveries unearthed by this research and focuses on the "what if's" where Bach is concerned. On their recording, "J.S. Bach: Reconstructions and Transcriptions, for Strings," they explore pieces that either were or might have been originally written for strings. We'll hear selections from their album this week.

June 26, 2016
Bach Violin Concertos

violin concerto cover The Academy for Ancient Music, Berlin began in 1982 in East Berlin. Since their founding, they’ve become recognized as one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras, and they are unusual for the fact that their artistic leadership is provided by several concertmasters rather than one conductor. Their 2005 album of Bach violin concertos garnered considerable praise when it came out, and we’ll listen to several tracks this week. Concertmasters Midori Seiler and Stephan Mai are in the spotlight as soloist and conductor respectively.

Purchase Featured CD: The Academy for Ancient Music, Berlin: Bach: Violin Concerto, Etc

June 19, 2016
Pahud/Pinnock: Bach Flute Sonatas
Pahud Pinnock Bach flute sonatas coverThe metal flute was a relatively new and popular instrument in Bach’s day. His son, CPE Bach, worked for Frederick the Great of Prussia who was a gifted amateur flutist which may have had some influence on JS Bach’s decision to write several sonatas for the instrument. This week we’ll hear several of these works when we feature the 2008 recording, Bach: Complete Flute Sonatas, with flutist Emmanuel Pahud of the Berlin Philharmonic and harpsichordist Trevor Pinnock.

Purchase featured CD: Pahud/Pinnock: Bach Complete Flute Sonatas
June 5, 2016
Gallén: Lute Works
Ricardo Gallen/Bach Complete Lute Works album coverSpanish guitarist Ricardo Gallén first performed Bach's lute suites in concert in 2006. Four years later he captured his vision of these works and other Bach lute compositions in a recording made in St. John Chrysostom Church in Newmarket, Canada. We'll sample his performances this week when we listen to tracks from his album, Bach: Complete Lute Works.

Purchase Featured CD: Ricardo Gallén: Bach Complete Lute Works
May 29, 2016
Galway: Bach trio sonatas
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James Galway Plays Bach, Vol. 2: Trio Sonatas album cover.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.

Purchase Featured CD: James Galway: Bach vol. 2, Trio Sonatas

May 22, 2016
Midori & Zuckerman: Double Concertos
Bach, Vivaldi: Double Concertos / Zukerman, MidoriViolinist 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.

Purchase Featured CD: 
Zukerman & Midori: Bach, Vivaldi Double Concertos
May 15, 2016
Mortensen: Harpsichord Concertos
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Mortensen Harpsichord Concertos CoverWhen 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.

Purchase Featured CD: Lars Ulrik Mortensen: Bach: Harpsichord Concertos Vol 2

Related:
Lewtak Pipe Organ Builders



May 8, 2016
Hewitt: English Suite
Bach: The English Suites / Angela Hewitt / hyperionFans 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.

Purchase CD: Angela Hewitt: Bach: English Suite
May 1, 2016
Handel Organ Concertos
bix-160531In 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.

Purchase CD: Handel: Organ Concertos, Op. 4


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