Monday, Jun 17, 2019
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 36 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website



Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 

 

Speakeasy Speed Test

 
 
click to go to advertisers website
 
Seattle Baroque Orchestra, a Seattle treasure
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Seattle Baroque Orchestra, a Seattle treasure

by John Lenti - Special to the SGN

It's a common refrain to lament the state of classical music. Audiences are shrinking, donations are harder than ever to come by, deficits are ballooning, and symphony orchestras are doing Jumbotron shows of music from Nintendo games. Add to this a classical musical culture that ossified in the '50s which emphasizes a pathologically slavish approach to playing things exactly as they appear on the page, and from the administrative side, a risk-averse, restrictive approach to concert programming that ensures that major donors and what's believed to be a fickle audience aren't scared off by obscure, challenging music. Between the Nintendo concerts and the remainder of the season, which will often resemble any other season at any other symphony in any other town, it's not hard to see why these dinosaurs are suffering.

One shouldn't assert that the modern arsenal of ear-splitting, cranked-up orchestral instruments and the sprawling, sumptuous orchestra, whose autocratic conductor encourages toadyism, discourages individual creativity and forces musicians to relinquish their interpretive volition, are necessarily all bad things. There is glorious music for big, honking orchestras without which life on earth would be a mistake; somebody has to drive that rather unwieldy bus; and provided God has laid a finger on the brow of your big, honking orchestra's particular autocrat, you're okay. The real rub, though, is that whether you've got a hack or an inspired genius at the helm, the modern symphony orchestra sounds like a buttered elephant doing pirouettes in a straitjacket when it performs music written before 1750.

There is, however, a right way to play the stuff. In 1994, violinist Ingrid Matthews and harpsichordist Byron Schenkman founded the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, which for 15 seasons has ensured that a world of great music that would otherwise have been unknown, or else known only in some bowdlerized, anachronistic form to Seattle audiences has received many truly exquisite readings by some of the world's finest performers of baroque music. Performing on historical instruments or newly constructed ones that replicate baroque standards, with the inclusion of harpsichords, lutes, and other less-familiar instruments, an ensemble with a svelte profile of seven to 15 players, the SBO has secured a treasured place in the local scene and garnered national attention for its energetic approach to this music. What comes as a surprise to many is that despite the vaguely scholarly M.O. of such a group and the consistent musical leadership of the incandescent violinist Matthews, their historically informed method of performance provides for an essentially democratic and improvisatory approach to ensemble musicmaking.

After quite a few seasons at Nordstrom Recital Hall, SBO is moving to Town Hall for its 2009/2010 season, and with the eagerly anticipated returns of Ingrid Matthews after a year-long sabbatical, and of Byron Schenkman after a three-year hiatus, Seattle's foremost ensemble for early music is poised to present five concerts in downtown's best classical music venue. The first, October 24, will be largely devoted to two great composers with significant anniversaries in 2009: Henry Purcell turns 350 this year, and it was 250 years ago that Handel transcended this mortal coil. November 28 will feature wildly improvisatory Venetian music of the early 1600s. January 2, 2010 will be a concert of Vivaldi, an SBO speciality, including virtuoso concertos played by Matthews and other members of the orchestra. Ingrid and Byron present a duo recital, their first in three years, February 27, in an event co-sponsored by the Early Music Guild; and the final concert, April 10, an all-Bach show, will include the sixth Brandenburg concerto. See the website at www.seattlebaroque.org.

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Local songwriter Scott Warrender
------------------------------
Tori Amos opens Seattle tour, rallies for Gay marriage
------------------------------
Laura Etling wins Seattle Pride Idol 2009 contest
------------------------------
SMC a cappella and unplugged
------------------------------
C'est si Bon! A tribute to Eartha Kitt
------------------------------
Frolic, third annual Pride cabaret at Century Ballroom
------------------------------
Pork Filled Players keep us laughing
------------------------------
Snow Patrol marvelous in short set
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Robertson's performance shows director potential
------------------------------
Francis Ford Coppola talks with the SGN
------------------------------
EYE CANDY: 25 hottest guys in music
------------------------------
RuPaul's Drag Race finalists to perform at Julia's Pride
------------------------------

------------------------------
Q-Scopes by Jack Fertig
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------

------------------------------
Shani's Pride weekend shopping tips & misc.
------------------------------

------------------------------
Deep Inside Hollywood - Romeo San Vicente
------------------------------
Seattle Men's and Women's Chorus season preview
------------------------------
Book Marks
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
A big Gay year in car reviews
------------------------------
Coldplay nothing short of phenomenal
------------------------------
Shakespeare in the Parks starts July 9
------------------------------
Fun picks for Pride weekend
------------------------------
Seattle Baroque Orchestra, a Seattle treasure
------------------------------
Pet Shop Boys a tempest of talent
------------------------------
Ella overcomes clumsy editing to shine
------------------------------
Powerhouse cast for Catch Me If You Can
------------------------------
Marc Shaiman and Terrence McNally on Musical Theatre and Gay Culture
------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml
copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2009

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News