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Boston Baroque Rings in the New Year with Handel’s Re-Discovered Gloria, Water Music, and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1

November 16, 2017

Press Contact: Stephanie Janes, (617) 419-0445, stephanie@stephaniejanespr.com

December 31 & January 1, 2018 | Sanders Theatre, Harvard University

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(For immediate release) Boston Baroque will ring in the New Year with true Baroque style in Sanders Theatre at Harvard University (45 Quincy St. Cambridge, MA 02138) on December 31 at 8pm and January 1, 2018 at 3pm in a program of Handel and Bach, to include Handel’s re-discovered Gloria, Water Music and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1. The Grammy-nominated Boston Baroque Orchestra will be conducted by Music Director Martin Pearlman, and soprano soloist Mary Wilson joins the ensemble for Handel’s Gloria. Cambridge Trust Company is generously sponsoring champagne and chocolate treats at intermission.

Tickets are $25-$90 and may be purchased at bostonbaroque.org or by phone at 617-987-8600.

Re-discovered in 2001, Handel’s Gloria sat unidentified for over a century in the library of London’s Royal Academy of Music. Bound in a volume with other Handel arias, music scholars agree that the piece seems to be from Handel’s early years in Rome when he was a young man of just 22 years-old. Soprano Mary Wilson, a thrilling interpreter of Baroque music, will join Boston Baroque to perform the Gloria.

The piece, scored for coloratura soprano and strings, is exceptionally florid, with seven movements to delight listeners. The Times (London) extolled the greatness of the piece, saying, “the way the tempo doubles at “cum sancto spirito” is incredibly exhilarating in a peculiarly Handelian way. Just as exhilarating is the gentle counterpoint in the brief duet passage for soprano and solo violin, the sort of effect that has Handelians clutching their sides with hedonistic, near-guilty pleasure.”

Handel’s Water Music was written for King George I of Great Britain and had its first performance in a splashy river cruise on the River Thames in 1717. It is a collection of three suites that are perfect examples of Baroque orchestration, and Boston Baroque will perform the Water Music Suite in F, known as “the horn suite.” Handel was one of the first composers to use horns in full orchestral parts, using them to create color and flamboyance. According to reports, the King loved the piece so much that he had the musicians play it three times before coming back to shore.

Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 is the first of six concertos written while Bach was working for the Prince of Anhalt-Cöthen, commissioned by the Margrave of Brandenburg, whom Bach met while in Berlin to purchase a harpsichord in 1719. The concerto combines elements of older baroque styles, including an overture followed by dance movements, with the then-newer style of alternating between soloist and orchestra – a style that Vivaldi popularized. This concerto also heavily highlights the horn, giving Boston Baroque an opportunity to showcase its outstanding musicians.

Martin Pearlman, Conductor and Music Director

Hailed for his “fresh, buoyant interpretations” and his “vivid realizations teeming with life,” Pearlman has been

acclaimed for 40 years in the orchestral, choral, and operatic repertoire from Monteverdi to Beethoven.

Founder, music director and conductor of the orchestra and chorus of the three-time Grammy-nominated Boston

Baroque, the first period-instrument orchestra in North America and widely regarded as being “Some of the finest American interpreters of music of this era,” according to Fanfare Magazine, Pearlman leads Boston Baroque in an annual subscription concert series in Greater Boston, tours in the United States and Europe and has produced twenty-two major recordings for Telarc Records. In 2012, the orchestra became the first American orchestra to record with the UK audiophile label, Linn Records and their release of The Creation received great critical acclaim. Boston Baroque recordings are heard by millions in thirty countries worldwide.

Mr. Pearlman is also the only conductor from the period-instrument field to have performed live on the internationally televised Grammy Awards show. Highlights of his work include the complete Monteverdi opera cycle, with his own new performing editions of L’incoronazione di Poppea and Il ritorno d’Ulisse, the American premiere of Rameau’s Zoroastre, the Boston premiere of Rameau’s Pigmalion, the New England premieres of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride and Alceste and an exploration of the Beethoven symphonies on period instruments called “revelatory” by the Boston Globe.

Mary Wilson, soprano

Soprano Mary Wilson is acknowledged as one of today’s most exciting artists, with Opera News heralding her first solo recording, Mary Wilson Sings Handel, as one of their “Best of the Year.” Cultivating a wide-ranging career singing chamber music, oratorio and operatic repertoire, her “bright soprano seems to know no terrors, wrapping itself seductively around every phrase” (Dallas Morning News). Receiving consistent critical acclaim from coast to coast, “she proves why many in the opera world are heralding her as an emerging star. She is simply amazing, with a voice that induces goose bumps and a stage presence that is mesmerizing. She literally stole the spotlight…” (Arizona Daily Star).

In consistent high demand on the concert stage, she has most-recently appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Detroit Symphony, National Symphony of Costa Rica, and at Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, to name a few. She was named an Emerging Artist by Symphony Magazine in the publication’s first ever presentation of promising classical soloists.

An exciting interpreter of Baroque repertoire, “with a crystal clear and agile soprano voice perfectly suited to

Handel’s music” (Early Music America), she has appeared with American Bach Soloists, Philharmonia Baroque, Musica Angelica, Boston Baroque, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Grand Rapids Bach Festival, Bach Society of St. Louis, Baltimore Handel Choir, Florida Bach Festival, Colorado Bach Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Casals Festival, and the Carmel Bach Festival. On the opera stage, she is especially noted for her portrayals of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Susannah in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Gilda in Rigoletto. She has created leading roles in North American and world premiere performances of Dove’s Flight, Glass’ Galileo Galilei, and Petitgirard’s Joseph Merrick dit L’Elephant Man. A national finalist of the 1999 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, she has appeared most recently with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Minnesota Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Dayton Opera, Arizona Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera Memphis, Southwest Opera, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Goodman Theatre.

Information for Calendar Listings:

Boston Baroque: Handel Gloria and Water Music; Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 1

Sunday, Dec. 31, 8pm and Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, 3pm
Sanders Theatre, Harvard University
45 Quincy St. Cambridge, MA 02138
Tickets: $25-$90 | bostonbaroque.org | 617.987.8600 | info@bostonbaroque.org

Ring in the new year in true Baroque style with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 and Handel’s Water Music and re-discovered Gloria sung by soprano Mary Wilson. All accompanied by champagne and chocolates at intermission sponsored by Cambridge Trust Company!

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