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.
April 26, 2015 Biscuits and Bach Sir James Galway is much beloved by classical music audiences, and he's the most celebrated flutist in the world. In honor of his 75th birthday, all of his recordings for RCA Red Seal have been issued together as a 73-cd box set. We'll focus on the baroque recordings among them this week.
And Sir James will join Rachel for a chat about Mozart, Bach, Pink Floyd and grits. You'll be amazed by how well he understands this Southern delicacy.
Antonio Vivaldi wrote an astonishing number of concerti for bassoon, 37 complete and 2 fragments. We don’t know exactly what inspired this prodigious output. Were they written for a bassoon virtuoso? A bassoon afficianado? One of the students at the Venetian girls school where Vivaldi worked? We’ll probably never know for sure, but Canadian bassoonist, Nadina Mackie Jackson is on a mission to record them all. She’s made a start with an album she calls Volumn One. We listen to tracks from it this week.
This Sunday, we feature J.S. & C.P.E. Bach: Sonatas For Viola Da Gamba And Harpsichord Transcribed For Cello. The album features two members of London’s baroque ensemble, The Brook Street Band, hailed as "the smartest new baroque band around" by The Times, London.
Laments were a common form of both secular and sacred music during the Baroque era with sacred laments usually being built around texts appropriate for Holy Week. This week we listen to the 2011 album from Les Art Florissants entitled Lamentazione. Selections are by Italian composers, mostly Venetian and Roman, who made use of stile antico, a style harkening back to the Renaissance.
And Rachel talks with Dr. Kenney Potter about an upcoming concert featuring Bach's Mass in b minor. His Wingate University Singers perform with the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra. He also reveals how he manages to get to his Sunday church job on time and still eat breakfast.
Event: University Singers with the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra April 10, 2015 More information
Violinist Gil Shaham started playing Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin nearly 30 years ago, but he only started to perform them in his concerts about 10 years ago. In 2014, after all those years of becoming intimately familiar with these masterpieces, he finally felt the time was right to commit his performances to disc. The resulting recording, released March 10th, contains Shaham's beautiful and thoughtful interpretations of these compositions which have been described as among the greatest achievements in human history.
We listen to selections this week, and Gil Shaham joins Rachel Stewart for a conversation about playing Bach, and he tells us which breakfast food is his guilty pleasure.
Art of the Fugue, one of Bach's very last works, has an aura of mystery. The score specifies no particular instruments, and the work is seemingly unfinished. In many ways it is an intellectual exercise. In any case, it is the definitive exploration of fugal counterpoint by an unrivaled master.
This week we listen to organist Barbara Harbach's recording of the great opus made in 1989 and 1990. Harbach also includes Pachelbel's Canon and Chorale Preludes by Bach on the album.
At the turn of the 18th century, Arcangelo Corelli was one the greatest violinists and teachers of the entire baroque era. His violin performance and composition techniques influenced generations of musicians.
This week, we feature a new release, Corelli’s Influence: Virtuoso Works for Baroque Violin from Alexander Woods. This album contains works by Corelli and two of his students in Rome, Pietro Castrucci and Antonio Montanari. The other composers represented evidently never crossed physical paths with Corelli, but were certainly influenced by his techniques and written treatises, Evaristo Felice Dall’abaco and Henrico Albicastro.
February 22, 2015 Biscuits and Bach As a virtuoso mandolinist, Avi Avital is good at adapting his instrument for all kinds of music from Bach to tango. On his brand new album Avi Avital: Vivaldi, he brings it back to its foundational repertoire written by Antonio Vivaldi. He refers to the Red Priest's mandolin compositions as "the Old Testament." And he is its scholar with a new translation/interpretation. We'll sample the recording this week.
Also, WDAV's Frank Dominguez talks with Andrew Griffiths and Kate Ashby of the UK's renowned vocal ensemble, Stile Antico, about the thrill of discovering breakfast at Cracker Barrel for the first time.
Soprano Kathleen Battle and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis teamed up on 1992 for an album called Baroque Duet. The pairing of Battle's exquisitely pure tone and Marsalis's virtuosic brilliance makes for beautiful arrangements of baroque favorites like Handel's "Let the Bright Seraphim." We sample several tracks from this excellent partnership on this week's program.
And Rachel talks with Dr. Eric Nelson, conductor, and Dr. Paul Westermeyer, liturgist, about their roles in the upcoming Festival of Church Music at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. Find out what a liturgist does and whether you should eat before or after performing.
Purchase Featured CD: Baroque Duet - Kathleen Battle, Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis is best known as a jazz musician, but he also has an impressive resume of classical recordings. This week we’ll feature his 1996 recording, In Gabriel’s Garden, an album of baroque selections from various countriesin 18th century western Europe.
Bach wrote his six Trio Sonatas, BWV 525-530 for organ as a technical challenge for his oldest son Wilhelm Friedemann. But they are far more than utilitarian pedagogical pieces. They expand the definition of the trio sonata itself. Flutist Paula Robison and harpsichordist John Gibbons have interpreted these gems for their instruments on the album, J.S. Bach Sonatas BWV 525-530, which we feature this week.
And if you haven't planned your Super Bowl party menu yet, you can get some ideas and tips when Rachel chats with food writer Debbie Moose about the foods we love to eat at sporting events.