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  • April 12, 2018

    Program Notes: Beethoven’s Fidelio

    “Of all my children, this is the one that caused me the most painful birth pangs and the most sorrows.” –Beethoven Beethoven first attempted to write an opera when he received a commission from Emanuel Schikaneder, the theater director who years earlier had written the libretto for Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Schikaneder’s libretto for Vestas […]

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  • February 26, 2018

    Program Notes: Telemann’s St. Luke Passion of 1744

    Buxtehude, Dixit Dominus Dieterich Buxtehude was best known in his day—and is still best known in ours—as a great organist whose music is standard repertoire for that instrument. Yet the majority of his output was for voice. More than a hundred cantatas, motets, and other vocal works have come down to us, although sadly his […]

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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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