Welcome to “Counterpoint,” our new blog. I’m Jennifer Glagov, longtime program annotator for Music of the Baroque and current marketing director. I’ve held many different jobs at MOB over the past fifteen years (and counting!), but my first experience with the group was as part of the Evanston audience in 1996 for Henry Purcell’s Fairy Queen. I was working on my doctorate in musicology at the University of Chicago, and the focus of my dissertation was seventeenth-century English music. I’ll never forget what it was like to hear live, for the very first time, a work I knew well through recordings and scores. As much as I love Spotify and online streaming, I’ll always go to concerts. The feel of the low strings vibrating in the hall, the way my ears ring when a perfectly-tuned note produces overtones, being still, quiet, and listening in a focused way — it’s an experience that can’t be digitally reproduced.
For that very reason, I can’t wait for Music of the Baroque’s 2015-16 season — which believe it or not, is our 45th. We’re performing the Monteverdi Vespers, a piece that’s thrilled me ever since I first heard it as a teenager, but have never heard in concert. I was poking around on YouTube and came across this video of John Eliot Gardiner leading the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque soloists at Versailles in 2014 — and now I can imagine exactly how our own chorus is going to look and sound at St. Michael’s in Old Town and Divine Word Chapel in Northbrook, two gorgeous churches I already know well from our Holiday Brass & Choral Concerts. It’s going to be amazing.
Over the coming months, I’m planning to write about the music we perform, our performers, classical music in Chicago, and anything else that comes to mind. In the meantime, please feel free to write to me if you have ideas or comments! And if you’d like more information about our anniversary season, you’ll find it here on our website.