December 30, 2015
Boston Baroque will present its third annual Free Community Concert at the Strand Theatre on Sunday. The festivities are a celebration of classical music, made accessible through the yearly partnership between Boston Baroque and the mayor’s office.
The first permanent Baroque orchestra established in North America, Boston Baroque will present Vivaldi: The Four Seasons at the afternoon concert. Their signature lively and emotionally-charged style, performed on period instruments, is sure to be a riveting addition to the New Year’s weekend.
Antonio Vivaldi’s most popular work, The Four Seasons will be performed by a full ensemble of 20 musicians, according to a release from the group.
The Baroque style of music emphasizes grand gestures and simple performance to evoke drama and exuberance. “The four seasons is one of our signature pieces,” said Baroque Boston executive director Miguel Rodriguez. “We were the first American orchestra to perform it on period pieces.”
It has been about 10 years since the orchestra has performed the concerto, and Rodriguez said “it was time” to play it now. “It is such an accessible piece,” Rodriguez said. “It was the perfect performance to bring to the Strand Theatre.”
The Baroque style of music emphasizes grand gestures and simple performance to evoke drama and exuberance. On solo violin, Canadian native Christina Day Martinson will take center stage for the celebratory concerto.
Martinson’s performance is featured in the Boston Baroque recording of Four Seasons, which Gramophone Magazine said was “story-telling par excellence, Martinson’s technique and musicianship fired in the kiln of imagination.”
Baroque violinist Martinson is a two-time National Finalist and prizewinner in the Canadian Music Competition, as well as the recipient of the Netherland-America Foundation Grant and Frank Huntington Beebe Award. A tenured member of the Handel and Haydn society -- a Boston-based chorus and period instrument orchestra -- Martinson serves as concertmaster for Boston Baroque.
Last year’s performance featured Frideric Handel’s Messiah. Boston Baroque spokeswoman Sue Auclair noted the diversity in performances year by year, as the construction and presentation of the choral Messiah is completely different from the classic orchestral Four Seasons.
Martin Pearlman, a leading American interpreter of Baroque and Classical music, will once more take the helm as conductor. Pearlman founded the orchestra in 1973, which is composed of a standing orchestra of talented period-instrument players, often joined by the ensemble’s professional chorus and soloists from around the globe.
The performance will take place Sunday, Jan 3. at 2 p.m. Tickets are free and can be obtained in advance at bostonbaroque.org, by phone at 617-987-8600, x413, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.