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.
May 26, 2013 Biscuits and Bach Trumpets with strings were popular throughout Europe in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and Italy, particularly Bologna and Venice, was the seat of innovation and influence where trumpet music was concerned. This week we listen to the 1996 recording, The Italian Trumpet, from Vox Box featuring trumpeter Edward Carroll. And Rachel talks with pianist Simone Dinnerstein about leaving the comfortable, familiar territory of classical music behind in her collaboration with singer/songwriter Tift Merritt. They've recently released a genre breaking recording called, Night.
The classical music world lost one of its great cellists when Janos Starker passed away April 28th of this year. This week we remember him by featuring his 1965 recording of the Bach cello suites and sonatas on the Mercury Living Presence label. And Rachel talks with Barbara Krumdieck of North Carolina Baroque Orchestra and David Tang of Vox about an exciting collaboration and all-Bach concert they're performing with the Centenary Chamber Singers and the Greensboro Consort along with conductor Dr. Robert Frazier at Centenary United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem on May 19th at 7:30 p.m. This is the first time these groups have worked together, and they felt it important to feature the music of Bach.
May 12, 2013 Biscuits and Bach Handel's concerti grossi, along with Bach's Brandenburgs, are considered some of the finest examples of baroque instrumental composition. The Opus 6 concerti grossi were published in 1740 in London and display Handel's talents as a mature composer. This week we feature a 2-CD set of Opus 6 performances by one of Toronto's leading period orchestras, Aradia Ensemble, led by Kevin Mallon. And for Mother's Day, Rachel Stewart talks to violinist Rachel Barton Pine about her newly released album, Violin Lullabies, which was inspired by the birth of her daughter. They also talk about life on the road with a young child and family.
May 5, 2013 Maybe you remember when compact discs were the hot new technology? It's hard to believe they've been around for more than 30 years now. This week we take a walk down memory lane by featuring the Bach Violin Concerto CD Anne-Sophie Mutter recorded and released with Salvatore Accardo and the English Chamber Orchestra back in 1983. When the disc first arrived in the WDAV library, it was our first all-Bach compact disc and was something of a big deal particularly because of the amazing talent displayed by the 20-year-old Mutter. Now Anne-Sophie is nearly 50 (but still looking great!), and technology has moved on. We'll talk with guitarist Jason Vieaux about how he's teaching students from around the world online these days through ArtistWorks Music Campus, a virtual music school.
April 28, 2013 In the early 1700’s Giuseppe Tartini’s violin school in Padua was the most famous in Europe and attracted musicians from many countries. Many of his students were composers as well as violinists, and this week we hear some of their output from a new recording on the Italian label, Dynamic, entitled “The Pupils of Tartini.” And we listen to the final installment of Rachel’s conversation with Bob Garner about North Carolina barbecue. They talk about why NC ‘cue is renowned worldwide and where to sample some of the best in the state.
April 21, 2013 Alessandro Scarlatti made a name for himself as a composer of operas and chamber cantatas. In his later years, he seems to have become interested in instrumental music, especially pieces giving prominence to the flute. The sinfonias on this week's featured recording are from that period, and we listen to a recording made by flutist Glauco Cambursano and I Solisti di Milano back in 1971. The 2-disc recording has been out of print until recently and has been reissued by Newton Classics. And Rachel continues her conversation with Bob Garner about North Carolina barbecue. This week, it's the history of sauces and sides and how they differ across the state.
April 14, 2013 For decades the music of Jan Dismas Zelenka was somewhat obscure. Recent scholarship has revealed a body of work full of harmonic invention and counterpoint, and he is now considered by many to be the foremost Czech baroque composer. The Bach Sinfonia recently released Zelenka: The Capriccios on the Sono Luminus label, and we explore these festive pieces this week. Rachel also begins a three-part conversation with UNC-TV's Bob Garner who is known as "North Carolina's Barbecue Man." They explore what's special and unique about North Carolina's barbecue tradition and talk about Bob's new book, Bob Garner's Book of Barbecue: North Carolina's Favorite Food.
April 7, 2013 The Washington, DC based Ensemble Gaudior is dedicated to performing masterpieces of chamber music from the Baroque and Classical eras. This week we listen to selections from their recording Masters of the Baroque, which features the ensemble playing Bach, Handel, Rameau, Biber, Vivaldi and Domenico Scarlatti on period instruments. The work features a harpsichord from Saint Luke Catholic Church in McLean, Virginia built by the renowned builder Lynette Tsiang. The name Gaudior is borrowed from the musical unicorn in Madeleine L’Engle’s book A Swiftly Tilting Planet who time-travels through the universe joyfully harmonizing with the music of the stars and planets.
March 31, 2013 This Easter Sunday morning we feature one of the great masterworks of Western sacred music, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Written for Good Friday vespers services, it tells the biblical passion story through music that conveys a full range of emotions from triumph to sorrow. We listen to a 1999 recording by Collegium Vocale of Gent and conductor Philippe Herreweghe with soloists including tenor Ian Bostridge as the Evangelist. (Bostridge is so taken with the work that he has made something of a career out of singing this narrator role.) Throughout the morning, we’ll also listen to other great works written for Eastertide, among them the otherworldly Allegri Miserere.
March 24, 2013 The discovery of copies of Bach Partita scores with written ornamentations made by members of Bach's circle proved to be a liberating experience for pianist David Korevaar. When making his recent recording of the Partitas, he felt free to experiment and embellish. This week we listen to the end result when we feature his new album. And Rachel talks with him about the recording as well as his Sunday morning habits.
March 17, 2013 Biscuits and Bach Recently, one of the world's great violins was paired with one of the world's great violinists when Anne Akiko Meyers was awarded lifetime use of the ex-Vieuxtemps Guarneri del Gesu. Meyers joins Rachel to talk about the special qualities of this unique violin and its storied past. She also reveals her secret ingredient for making delicious pancakes. Throughout the morning, we'll spotlight selections from her acclaimed 2011 recording Air - The Bach Album. And since Sunday is St. Patrick's day, you can also expect to hear a jig or two.
March 10, 2013 Biscuits and Bach Bach’s English Suites for the keyboard are thought to be the first such set of suites he composed. Their relative simplicity compared to later keyboard works appeals to English keyboard master Richard Egarr who recorded them recently on the harpsichord. In the liner notes of the recording, Egarr writes of their beauty and joyfulness. Egarr’s Bach English Suites is featured this week. And Rachel talks with Charlotte Observer food editor, Kathleen Purvis, who has a new book about pecans that’s chock full of history, information and recipes for the South’s most highly regarded nut.