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  • October 20, 2015

    Vivaldi’s Juditha triumphans – Synopsis and Program Notes

    Synopsis The story is from the Book of Judith in the Apocrypha, in which Judith, a Jewish widow, saves her people from the army of Nebuchadnezzar. With her city besieged by the enemy, Judith and her maid Abra secretly make their way to the camp of the general Holofernes to sue for peace.  Holofernes falls […]

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  • April 23, 2015

    Handel’s Agrippina – Program Notes

    Program notes by Martin Pearlman “The audience was so enchanted with [Agrippina], that . . . the theatre at almost every pause, resounded with shouts and acclamations of viva il caro Sassone! [long live the dear Saxon] and other expressions of approbation too extravagant to be mentioned. They were thunderstruck with the grandeur and sublimity […]

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  • February 22, 2015

    Bach’s St. John Passion – Program Notes

    Program notes by Martin Pearlman Bach first performed his St. John Passion on Good Friday of 1724. Written three years before his St. Matthew Passion, it was the climax of his first full season of cantatas in Leipzig and his largest work to date. His obituary tells us that he wrote five settings of the […]

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  • December 11, 2014

    Messiah – Program Notes by Martin Pearlman

    PROGRAM NOTES By Martin Pearlman, Music Director Handel’s Messiah 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 […]

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  • November 5, 2014

    Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 – Program Notes

    Program notes by Martin Pearlman Even today, in an age which has heard Bach’s Mass in B minor, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, and the requiems of Berlioz and Verdi, the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 is astonishing for the grandeur of its conception and the opulence of its sound. For its time, it was unprecedented. No other surviving […]

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