Thank you to all who attended to our season opener The Glories of Venice last weekend. The BCOC core ensemble thoroughly enjoyed working with some of Denver’s finest early-music singers to perform gems by Claudio Monteverdi. It was also wonderful to welcome bassist Anne Trout, filling in for our principal bassist David Crowe for this concert weekend. Anne told me that Monteverdi is her “mantra,” so having her for this particular program was a treat. One of the basses she regularly plays in Boston is an Italian instrument from 1610 that may have actually been played in the first performance of Monteverdi’s Vespers.
A highlight of the weekend for me was welcoming music students from El Sistema to our Saturday concert. Soprano Kathryn Radakovich, BCOC violist Alex Vittal, and I had an opportunity to chat with them briefly before the concert about the instruments, voices, and what it’s like to play music that is over 300 years old.
Though the Monteverdi selections were thrilling, I keep coming back to the violin sonata by Fontana performed by Cynthia Miller Freivogel. A free fantasia of a sonata, this piece unfolds over six minutes in a way that seems entirely out of time, alternating between moments of intimacy, whimsy, and passion. It was a reminder of Baroque’s exploratory and improvisational roots. This “fantasia factor” became an animating force, even as Baroque music evolved and became more structured over time.
And back to Monteverdi. I am excited to announce that we are laying the groundwork for a concert production of his monumental opera Orfeo in 2019!