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  • December 18, 2017

    Program Notes: New Year’s Eve 2017

    By Martin Pearlman

    Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 The first of the Brandenburg Concertos has the thickest, most complex orchestral sound of any of the six.  Here, Bach calls for an orchestra divided into three choirs of instruments–strings, woodwinds and brass–and appoints solo instruments within each group.  The string section of the orchestra includes a solo violino piccolo, a […]

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  • November 29, 2017

    Program Notes: Handel’s Messiah

    By Martin Pearlman

    One of the special challenges in performing Messiah year after year is to keep the work sounding fresh, as if one had just discovered it. When Boston Baroque gave the first Boston period-instrument performances of the complete oratorio in 1981, the work was still normally heard in this country in the relatively heavy, reverential style […]

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  • October 11, 2017

    Mozart’s Requiem — Program Notes by Martin Pearlman

    Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550 This well loved symphony dates from the summer of 1788. It was a time when Mozart’s public career and personal finances were faltering, and he had only recently suffered the death of a baby daughter. Nonetheless, it was an unusually productive year for his composing, with thirty […]

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  • April 20, 2017

    Handel’s Giulio Cesare – Program Notes by Martin Pearlman

    Program notes by Martin Pearlman Giulio Cesare in Egitto (Julius Caesar in Egypt) was the only opera that Handel composed for the 1723-24 season of his Royal Academy, but it was a huge work and a masterpiece.  Coming on the heels of his popular Ottone from the previous season, it cemented the 38-year-old composer’s reputation as […]

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  • March 9, 2017

    Biber’s The Mystery Sonatas – Program Notes

    Program Notes by Martin Pearlman Our concert this evening is a rare complete performance of one of the most extraordinary sets of music in the violin repertoire. Heinrich Biber’s Mystery (or Rosary) Sonatas rank, along with Bach’s unaccompanied violin music, among the most challenging works in the Baroque violin repertoire, and his experimentation with the […]

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