At the beginning of the 17th century, music got harmonically
more complicated, but remained polyphonic and melodic. A group of
violin virtuosos took advantage of this new vocabulary to compose
chamber music works of remarkable complexity.
This is the kind of repertoire that BEMF is good at showing us,
because it’s think kind of thing that the people who can play in
the opera orchestra do for fun when they aren’t in an orchestra.
This concert was no exception. The duets were played by Robert
Mealy and Julie Andrijeski on baroque violin. I was glad to see that the third
melodic instrument in several pieces was played by Greg Ingles,
with remarkably agile slide technique on a trombone.
Another break from the violin was provided by a harpsichord
solo, played by Avi Stein on an unusually mellow Italian-style
harpsichord built by Owen Daly.
I started taking notes about places I particularly liked in the
pieces (e.g. Julie’s solo in Bertali Sonata No. 3), but since every piece had one or two, I decided to just
say that I really enjoy this repertoire.
Another unusual feature of this concert was that the Boston
Bruins hockey team won the Stanley Cup while we were listening to
it. I could tell that had happened the minute I left Emmanuel
Church, since there were horns blowing and people cheering. But
the really odd part was when the people taking the MBTA home got
to Park Street and were waiting for the Red Line. A bunch of
drunken hockey celebrators came in and were yelling and throwing
things. The Early Music people all went down to the other end of
the platform. One of them muttered, “Too much alcohol and
testosterone in the air down there.” Another asked, “Who are the Bruins?”