By David Thiel for Boise Weekly
If you are a lover of classical music, don't miss the Boise Baroque Orchestra's '06-'07 season premiere. Conducted by music director, Dr. Daniel Stern, Idaho's premier chamber orchestra enters their fourth season with a performance this evening at the Nampa Civic Center Auditorium. [split]
Discussing the upcoming season's program, Stern notes that the orchestra's repertoire is not strictly limited to Baroque compositions.
"Although we perform masterpieces from the 17th and 18th centuries, the orchestra also plays classics written beyond the Baroque period," says Stern. "We always try to enrich the palette of music to which our audience is exposed."
The evening's program will open with Bach's Brandenburg Concerto #5 and, as a continuation of Boise Baroque's tribute to the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth, the finale will be Mozart's Serenade for 13 Winds, or the "Grand Partita."
In the 18th century, serenades were typically dance suites performed outdoors. They usually served to honor and entertain royalty at social events.
"What makes the Mozart serenade so beautiful," says Stern, "is that it contains a lyricism more typical of his vocal writing. Some of the slow movements in this piece are just heavenly."
Mozart fans may also recall Antonio Salieri's impassioned description of the "Grand Partita" from the movie Amadeus: "On the page it looked nothing. The beginning simple, almost comic. Just a pulse -; bassoons and basset horns -; like a rusty squeezebox. Then suddenly -; high above it -; an oboe, a single note, hanging there unwavering, till a clarinet took over and sweetened it into a phrase of such delight! This was a music I'd never heard. Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing, it had me trembling. It seemed to me that I was hearing a voice of God."
Written in 1719, music scholars believe that the Brandenburg Concerto #5 was composed to feature a new harpsichord that Bach had acquired in Berlin. The concerto is also perfectly suited to highlight the virtuosity of the player, because it contains one of the longest and most challenging solo cadenzas in the literature.
Confronted with this daunting assignment, Boise Baroque harpsichordist David Tacher has been diligently rehearsing the piece for several months.
"It contains some incredibly fast passages," says Tacher. "I'd include Bach's Brandenburg Concerto #5 among the most demanding pieces I've ever been asked to play."