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The Early Music Show

BBC Radio 3

7
Followers
25
Plays
The Early Music Show

The Early Music Show

BBC Radio 3

7
Followers
25
Plays
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About Us

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.

Latest Episodes

Caffarelli

The 18th Century singer Caffarelli expressed a wish to be castrated when he was just ten years old - already wanting a career in music. He flourished into one of Europe's finest singers, and enjoyed great fame - and notoriety - for almost forty year, amassing a great fortune along the way. Many composers of the day created roles for him in their productions, including Handel, Porpora, Hasse, Pergolesi and Gluck. Lucie Skeaping explores Caffarelli's extraordinary life and career with music from recordings by Franco Fagioli, Max Emmanuel Cencic, Andreas Scholl and Simone Kermes, among others.

19 minSEP 14
Comments
Caffarelli

Telemann in Poland

For just under a year, from 1705, Telemann was employed by Count Erdmann II of Promnitz in northern Poland. His tenure was cut dramatically short by developments in the Great Northern War, but during his time in Zary and Silesia, the composer came into contact with Polish folk music, which influenced him for the rest of his career. When travelling through Poland with his employer, Telemann would often stop at taverns for refreshment or accommodation, and there he heard Polish gypsies improvising on fiddles, bagpipes and hurdy-gurdies - a music which is thought to have its roots on the Indian subcontinent. Lucie Skeaping explores some of those original melodies in recordings from Ensemble Caprice, alongside some of the pieces Telemann composed with those Polish influences very much at the forefront of his mind.

13 minSEP 13
Comments
Telemann in Poland

John Dunstaple

Hannah French profiles the life and music of John Dunstaple - a musical innovator, influencer and leading composer of his generation, during the reigns of Henry V and Henry VI.

24 minAUG 16
Comments
John Dunstaple

Thirty-five years of the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition (1)

A selection of recordings from previous prize-winners at the biennial York Early Music International Young Artists Competition stretching back to 1985. Performers include oboist Paul Goodwin, harpsichordist Nicholas Parle, soprano Mhairi Lawson and ensembles Stile Antico, Ensemble Amarillis, Consone and Sollazzo. Presented by Lucie Skeaping

19 minJUL 13
Comments
Thirty-five years of the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition (1)

Thirty-five years of the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition (2)

A further selection of recordings from previous prizewinners at the biennial York Early Music International Young Artists Competition stretching back to 1985. Performers include The Locke Consort, I Fagiolini, Savadi, Le Jardin Secret, Profeti della Quinta, BarrocoTout and last year's winners L'Apotheose. Presented by Lucie Skeaping.

19 minJUL 12
Comments
Thirty-five years of the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition (2)

Hercules at the Crossroads

The ancient Greek tale, Hercules at the Crossroads, sees the man of the moment offered a choice between Vice and Virtue. Personifications of each visit him to offer the option of a pleasant and easy life, or a hard but glorious one. It was all the rage in the Renaissance, inspiring writers and artists and remained so to the time of Bach and Handel. Two pillars of the Baroque, each knowing something of pleasure and toil, and each setting this Herculean conundrum in his own style. Which will you choose? Music comes from recordings of Bach's secular cantata "Laßt uns Sorgen, laßt uns wachen", BWV.213 and Handel's 1750 oratorio "The Choice of Hercules". Presented by Hannah French.

19 minJUN 21
Comments
Hercules at the Crossroads

The Judgement of Paris

At the turn of the 18th century, a contest was announced in an attempt was made to kick-start the operatic scene in London. The brief was to set an all-sung English opera based on William Congreve's short libretto: The Judgement of Paris. An alluring 100 guineas was promised to the winner, and four contestants entered the competition: John Weldon, John Eccles, Daniel Purcell and Gottfried Finger. Each entry was given an individual premiere before all four were staged on one night - a grand finale at Dorset Garden Theatre on 3 June 1701. The competition was judged by a public vote... what could possibly go wrong? Hannah French explores the music and stories of the four entries.

18 minJUN 10
Comments
The Judgement of Paris

A Black History

Celebrating the early cultural contribution of black people in the arts in the 17th and 18th centuries, including music by the first black man to vote in a British general election, Ignatius Sancho. There's also the musketeer Le Chevalier Meude-Monpas, 'the Black Mozart' Joseph Boulogne Chevalier de Saint-George, Brazilian composer Jose Nunes Garcia, and the real dedicatee of Beethoven's 'Kreutzer' Sonata. Lucie Skeaping presents.

22 minMAY 14
Comments
A Black History

Baroque Trumpets at the Bate Collection

Hannah French joins trumpeter Simon Desbruslais at the Bate Collection in Oxford to explore some of the museum's examples of Renaissance and Baroque trumpets. Featuring music by Albinoni, Cacciamani, Bach, Telemann, Homilius, Kauffman and Hummel.

35 minFEB 18
Comments
Baroque Trumpets at the Bate Collection

Bach Collegium Japan - 30th Anniversary

Hannah French talks to father and son team Masaaki and Masato Suzuki about period performance ensemble Bach Collegium Japan, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. With music by Bach, Mozart and Beethoven.

29 minFEB 9
Comments
Bach Collegium Japan - 30th Anniversary

Latest Episodes

Caffarelli

The 18th Century singer Caffarelli expressed a wish to be castrated when he was just ten years old - already wanting a career in music. He flourished into one of Europe's finest singers, and enjoyed great fame - and notoriety - for almost forty year, amassing a great fortune along the way. Many composers of the day created roles for him in their productions, including Handel, Porpora, Hasse, Pergolesi and Gluck. Lucie Skeaping explores Caffarelli's extraordinary life and career with music from recordings by Franco Fagioli, Max Emmanuel Cencic, Andreas Scholl and Simone Kermes, among others.

19 minSEP 14
Comments
Caffarelli

Telemann in Poland

For just under a year, from 1705, Telemann was employed by Count Erdmann II of Promnitz in northern Poland. His tenure was cut dramatically short by developments in the Great Northern War, but during his time in Zary and Silesia, the composer came into contact with Polish folk music, which influenced him for the rest of his career. When travelling through Poland with his employer, Telemann would often stop at taverns for refreshment or accommodation, and there he heard Polish gypsies improvising on fiddles, bagpipes and hurdy-gurdies - a music which is thought to have its roots on the Indian subcontinent. Lucie Skeaping explores some of those original melodies in recordings from Ensemble Caprice, alongside some of the pieces Telemann composed with those Polish influences very much at the forefront of his mind.

13 minSEP 13
Comments
Telemann in Poland

John Dunstaple

Hannah French profiles the life and music of John Dunstaple - a musical innovator, influencer and leading composer of his generation, during the reigns of Henry V and Henry VI.

24 minAUG 16
Comments
John Dunstaple

Thirty-five years of the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition (1)

A selection of recordings from previous prize-winners at the biennial York Early Music International Young Artists Competition stretching back to 1985. Performers include oboist Paul Goodwin, harpsichordist Nicholas Parle, soprano Mhairi Lawson and ensembles Stile Antico, Ensemble Amarillis, Consone and Sollazzo. Presented by Lucie Skeaping

19 minJUL 13
Comments
Thirty-five years of the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition (1)

Thirty-five years of the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition (2)

A further selection of recordings from previous prizewinners at the biennial York Early Music International Young Artists Competition stretching back to 1985. Performers include The Locke Consort, I Fagiolini, Savadi, Le Jardin Secret, Profeti della Quinta, BarrocoTout and last year's winners L'Apotheose. Presented by Lucie Skeaping.

19 minJUL 12
Comments
Thirty-five years of the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition (2)

Hercules at the Crossroads

The ancient Greek tale, Hercules at the Crossroads, sees the man of the moment offered a choice between Vice and Virtue. Personifications of each visit him to offer the option of a pleasant and easy life, or a hard but glorious one. It was all the rage in the Renaissance, inspiring writers and artists and remained so to the time of Bach and Handel. Two pillars of the Baroque, each knowing something of pleasure and toil, and each setting this Herculean conundrum in his own style. Which will you choose? Music comes from recordings of Bach's secular cantata "Laßt uns Sorgen, laßt uns wachen", BWV.213 and Handel's 1750 oratorio "The Choice of Hercules". Presented by Hannah French.

19 minJUN 21
Comments
Hercules at the Crossroads

The Judgement of Paris

At the turn of the 18th century, a contest was announced in an attempt was made to kick-start the operatic scene in London. The brief was to set an all-sung English opera based on William Congreve's short libretto: The Judgement of Paris. An alluring 100 guineas was promised to the winner, and four contestants entered the competition: John Weldon, John Eccles, Daniel Purcell and Gottfried Finger. Each entry was given an individual premiere before all four were staged on one night - a grand finale at Dorset Garden Theatre on 3 June 1701. The competition was judged by a public vote... what could possibly go wrong? Hannah French explores the music and stories of the four entries.

18 minJUN 10
Comments
The Judgement of Paris

A Black History

Celebrating the early cultural contribution of black people in the arts in the 17th and 18th centuries, including music by the first black man to vote in a British general election, Ignatius Sancho. There's also the musketeer Le Chevalier Meude-Monpas, 'the Black Mozart' Joseph Boulogne Chevalier de Saint-George, Brazilian composer Jose Nunes Garcia, and the real dedicatee of Beethoven's 'Kreutzer' Sonata. Lucie Skeaping presents.

22 minMAY 14
Comments
A Black History

Baroque Trumpets at the Bate Collection

Hannah French joins trumpeter Simon Desbruslais at the Bate Collection in Oxford to explore some of the museum's examples of Renaissance and Baroque trumpets. Featuring music by Albinoni, Cacciamani, Bach, Telemann, Homilius, Kauffman and Hummel.

35 minFEB 18
Comments
Baroque Trumpets at the Bate Collection

Bach Collegium Japan - 30th Anniversary

Hannah French talks to father and son team Masaaki and Masato Suzuki about period performance ensemble Bach Collegium Japan, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. With music by Bach, Mozart and Beethoven.

29 minFEB 9
Comments
Bach Collegium Japan - 30th Anniversary
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