Music of the Baroque Brass and Choral Holiday Concert
Christmas has many meanings and holds a lot of sentiment, individual to each listener. Conductor Paul Agnew tried to cut through all of that by making this program something everyone can relate to: a mother, and the birth of her new child. Through the pieces he has chosen, the audience will be given the opportunity to appreciate the relationship between the two in music. The Annunciation is also explored during this segment, as this was a particularly important theme in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Through a booming brass ensemble and a magnificent chorus, these brilliant composers share their reactions and praise for Mary.
In the second half of the program, Child, we are reminded of how much responsibility Christ was given, even as a newborn. A “government rested upon his shoulders,” we are prompted in the beginning of the segment. But this young life still brings great joy, shown especially in Francis Poulenc’s works, Quem vidistis and Hodie Christus natus est. The program concludes with Gabrieli’s glorious piece, Angelus ad pastores ait, filling the audience with a fantastical feeling on what is truly a modest country scene.
The chorus and orchestra of Music of the Baroque comprise of approximately 60 professional musicians. Chorus members have active operatic and recital careers and many perform regularly, both in the United States and abroad. Many members of the Music of the Baroque Orchestra are also members of other leading ensembles, including the Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera orchestras.