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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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April 19, 2015
Biscuits and Bach

CD Nadina JacksonAntonio 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.

And Rachel talks with Deborah Neuhs, President and Founder of the Charlotte Area Foundation for Music and Art, which provides scholarships and grants for artists, musicians, students and teachers. Their Annual Farm to Table fundraiser dinner is coming up and will feature local food and local artists.

Purchase Featured CD: Vivaldi: Bassoon Concerti / Nadina Mackie Jackson


Program Audio: Biscuit Chat with Deborah Neuhs
April 12, 2015
Biscuits and Bach

CD JS and CPE BachThis 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.

Purchase Featured CD: J.S. & C.P.E. Bach: Sonatas For Viola Da Gamba And Harpsichord Transcribed For Cello

April 5, 2015
Biscuits and Bach

CD Easter LamentsLaments 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
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Purchase Featured CD: Lamentazione - Scarlatti, Leo, Legrenzi, Lotti, Caldara / Agnew, Les Arts Florissants


Program Audio: Biscuit Chat with Dr. Kenney Potter
March 29, 2015
Biscuits and Bach

CD Gil Shaham BachViolinist 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.


Program Audio: Biscuit Chat with Gil Shaham
March 22, 2015
Biscuits and Bach

CD Bach Art of the FugueArt 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.

Purchase Featured CD: Bach: Art Of Fugue; Pachelbel: Canon, Chaconnes, Chorale Preludes / Barbara Harbach

March 15, 2015
Biscuits and Bach

CD Corelli's Influence

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.

Purchase Featured CD: Corelli’s Influence: Virtuoso Works for Baroque Violin - Alexander Woods

March 1, 2015
Biscuits and Bach
CD SteuermannBrazilian born Jean Louis Steuermann released an album of Bach keyboard works in 1986. We revisit this classic recording this week.

And Rachel talks with Chef Brian Sonoskus of Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville. Chef Sonoskus tells us about adding new twists to southern cuisine and the importance of locally produced ingredients.

Program audio: Biscuit Chat: Brian Sonoskus

February 22, 2015
Biscuits and Bach
CD Avi AvitalAs 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.


Program Audio: Biscuit Chat with Stile Antico
February 15, 2015
Biscuits and Bach

CD Marsalis BattleSoprano 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


Program Audio: Biscuit Chat - Festival of Church Music
February 8, 2015
Biscuits and Bach

CD MarsalisWynton 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. 

Purchase Featured CD: In Gabriel's Garden / Wynton Marsalis, Newman, English Co

February 1, 2015
Biscuits and Bach
CD Bach Flute SonatasBach 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.

Program Audio: Biscuit Chat with Debbie Moose
January 25, 2015
Biscuits and Bach

CD FantasticusIn the century before Bach was born, German composers were infatuated with and inspired by the experimental works of Italian composers, particularly the instrumental form, the sonata. The Germans wrote music with flamboyance and virtuosity that was unencumbered by vocals or words. Music writers of the day referred to this modern style as stylus fantasticus.

American early music ensemble, Quicksilver, has just released an album dedicated to this exciting time in music history entitled Fantasticus: Extravagant and Virtuosic Music of the German Seventeenth Century. It's our featured recording this week.

And WDAV's Frank Dominguez talks with conductor Gerard Schwarz and his cellist son Julian about baroque music and their favorite foods.

Purchase Featured CD: Fantasticus: Extravagant and Virtuosic Music of the German Seventeenth Century


Program Audio: Biscuit Chat with Gerard and Julian Schwarz


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