An exploration of early music, looking at early developments in musical performance and composition in Britain and abroad. UK only: please note that not all episodes are podcast.
Ana Her celebrates the life and work of Italian composer Tomaso Albinoni, known for his operas and instrumental music, marking the 350th anniversary of his birth on 8 June 1671. It is thought that Albinoni wrote at least 50 operas, although few of them survive. His oboe concertos were the first of their type by an Italian composer to be published, and his instrumental music was admired by Bach, who wrote fugues based on Albinoni's works and also used them in his teaching.
At a time when our own freedoms are being restored, Lucie Skeaping explores the concept of liberty. Freedom from or freedom to? Do we want to be enchained by love? Or find release through that ultimate escape, death? What does classical myth tell us, and religious belief? All the big ideas are here, with music including Byrd, Barbara Strozzi and Handel.
Music for Melancholy
In this week raising awareness of mental health, Hannah French considers Music for Melancholy. From Dowland’s Flow, My Tears to David’s Harp, she’s off in search of music with the power to balance the humours and transform the spirit. CPE Bach offers a contest between Sanguinius and Melancholicus and Michel Richard Delalande emerges as a figure who turned to music when faced with mental trials both great and small.
Lucie Skeaping explores the many Baroque operatic settings inspired by Ludovico Ariosto's epic poem Orlando furioso, including music by Francesca Caccini, Vivaldi, Handel, Steffani, Hasse, Lully and Haydn.
Jeffrey Skidmore - A Performer Profile
As he celebrates his 70th birthday, conductor Jeffrey Skidmore talks to Hannah French about his career in music and his life on tour and in the studio with the ensemble Ex Cathedra.
Bach's Easter Oratorio
Hannah French looks into the music behind Johann Sebastian Bach's Easter Oratorio, which was composed in Leipzig and first performed on Easter Sunday in 1725.