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.
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.
June 19, 2016 Pahud/Pinnock: Bach Flute Sonatas The 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.
June 5, 2016 Gallén: Lute Works Spanish 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.
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.