Baroque Notes

Baroque Notes

Enhance your enjoyment of Music of the Baroque concerts with "Baroque Notes," our pre-concert lecture series.

April 2024: Birds, Frogs, Crickets, & Dogs

Program annotator Jen More discusses the different ways Vivaldi, Telemann, and Haydn depict nature in some of the music featured in "Birds, Frogs, Crickets, and Dogs," the development of instrumental music in the Baroque era, how to pronounce American alternative rock band Weezer's Vivaldi-inspired "SZNZ," and much more.

March 2024: The St. John Passion

Standing in for program annotator Jen More, Music Director Dame Jane Glover and Executive Director Declan McGovern discuss Music of the Baroque’s upcoming performances of the St. John Passion. Highlights include the work’s standout moments, the difference between the St. John and the St. Matthew Passions, the dramatic pace and structure, the role of the chorus and the reason this cast of soloists is particularly special, and the role of the audience in making the performance come alive.

BONUS CONTENT: Dame Jane Glover and soloists in conversation

Before the concerts, Dame Jane Glover and the four St. John Passion soloists—soprano Miah Persson, mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski, tenor Thomas Cooley, and bass-baritone Neal Davies—sat down with Executive Director Declan McGovern at the Chicago Club to discuss their musical journeys and their experiences with Bach.

January 2024: Mullova Plays Bach

Program annotator Jen More discusses the fascinating life of legendary violinist Viktoria Mullova, our soloist for Bach's Concertos in A Minor and E Major; Lully's curious death and what happened when Rameau finally composed his first opera at 50; and Bach's mysterious Art of the Fugue, including—possibly—its modern-day influence in video game music."

November 2023: Windy City

Program annotator Jen More traces the many fascinating connections between Handel, Bologne, Hummel, Mozart, and Haydn, the composers featured in "Windy City."

October 2023: Viva Vivaldi!

Program annotator Jen More discusses the program of Viva Vivaldi! and how it reveals the composer's artistic personality, especially through the music he wrote for the residents of the Ospedale della Pietà, a Venetian school for orphaned and abandoned girls specializing in musical training.

September 2023: The Mozart Requiem

In the latest episode of "Baroque Notes," program annotator Jen More discusses what makes Bach's Magnificat so special and explores the real story behind the Mozart Requiem (complete with an excerpt from the movie Amadeus, of course!).

May 2023: Circles of Friends

Who is Johann Baptist Vanhal? Why did Haydn write his Sinfonia Concertante? What did historian Charles Burney think was the secret to artistic success? And what's solo tuning on the double bass? Find out in the latest installment of "Baroque Notes," our pre-concert lecture series, as program annotator Jen More answers these questions (with a little help from our friend and principal double bass Collins Trier).

April 2023: The St. Matthew Passion

Music Director Dame Jane Glover, Chorus Director Andrew Megill, and program annotator Jen More go behind the scenes of one of the greatest creative achievements of all time.

February 2023: London Calling

Program annotator Jen More discusses William Boyce, the circumstances surrounding the creation of Mozart's first symphony, and the role of the conductor in works like Handel's Water Music.

January 2023: Montero Plays Mozart

Program annotator Jen More highlights the genius of Gabriela Montero, the soloist for Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21, K. 467. She also discusses the life of Joseph Bologne—including one of her favorite scenes from "The Chevalier," Bill Barclay's concert theater work which Music of the Baroque performed in February 2022—and shares the tragedy behind Mozart's Symphony No. 39.

November 2022: Reginald Mobley Sings

Program annotator Jennifer More discusses how Purcell and Handel (and Johnny Cash!) fit into the musical landscape of London, while Reginald Mobley explains the countertenor voice.

October 2022: Baroque Heroes

Guest conductor Patrick Dupre Quigley discusses the concept behind Music of the Baroque's October 9 and 11 concerts, “Baroque Heroes,” and highlights Telemann’s Don Quixote Suite, C. P. E. Bach’s Cello Concerto, Rameau’s Suite from Castor and Pollux, and J. S. Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 featuring the famous “Air.” Executive Director Declan McGovern and South Chicago Dance Theatre Executive Artistic Director Kia S. Smith talk about the program's opening work, Dances from Terpsichore, sharing the creative process behind the organizations' brand-new collaboration—and a bit of rehearsal footage, too.

September 2022: Handel's Jephtha

Program annotator Jen More discusses Music of the Baroque's September 18 and 19 performances of Handel's final oratorio, Jephtha. Dame Jane Glover leads the chorus, orchestra, and soloists David Portillo (Jephtha), Lauren Snouffer (Iphis), Clara Osowski (Storgè), Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen (Hamor), Neal Davies (Zebul), and Katelyn Lee (Angel).

May 2022: The Brothers Haydn

Program annotator Jen More discusses Music of the Baroque's May 8 and 9 concerts, "The Brothers Haydn." Featured works include Michael Haydn's Symphony in E-flat Major (MH 473) and Joseph Haydn's Creation Mass. Dame Jane Glover leads the chorus, orchestra, and soloists Rebecca Farley, Meg Bragle, Michael St. Peter, and Tyler Duncan.

April 2022: Bach's Easter Oratorio

Program annotator Jen More discusses Music of the Baroque's April 10 and 11 concerts, featuring Bach's Easter Oratorio, Sinfonia in D Major, "Komm, Jesu, komm," and music by Buxtehude and Purcell. Dame Jane Glover leads the chorus, orchestra, and soloists Yulia Van Doren, Elizabeth DeShong, James Gilchrist, and Michael Sumuel.

March 2022: Classical Heroines

Program annotator Jen More discusses the vocal works soprano Amanda Forsythe will perform as part of "Classical Heroines"(March 20 & 21) under the direction of Nicholas Kraemer.

November 2021: Discovering Messiah

Principal Guest Conductor Nicholas Kraemer and program annotator Jennifer More discuss Handel's Messiah in preparation for the ensemble's first performances of the oratorio in over a decade.

Episode 1
Topics covered in Episode 1 include how Nicholas prepares to direct a work he's conducted over 100 times, changes in performance practice over the centuries, and Nicholas's most memorable Messiah experiences.

Episode 2
In Episode 2, Nicholas delves into the significance of Messiah's text sources and how librettist Charles Jennens's choices add nuance to the work's meaning.

October 2021: Vivaldi & Friends

Program annotator Jennifer More and guest conductor John Butt discuss the program for "Vivaldi & Friends," tracing the network of Vivaldi’s influence (and influences) from Corelli to Bach.

September 2021: Baroque Fireworks—Handel, Telemann, Garrop

Program annotator Jennifer More discusses the program for "Baroque Fireworks," including Handel's Water Music, Concerto a due cori No. 1, and Music for the Royal Fireworks. Composer Stacy Garrop shares the creative process behind Spectacle of Light, specially commissioned for our 50th anniversary.