Baroque Will Open with Haydn's 'Seasons'

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 23, 2007 | Go to article overview

Baroque Will Open with Haydn's 'Seasons'


Byline: Bill Gowen

After nearly four decades you would think Chicago's Music of the Baroque would begin to run out of major works it hasn't performed.

So it was a mild surprise when MOB's just-announced 2007-08 season included one of the key works of the classical-period choral repertoire - Franz Joseph Haydn's "The Seasons" - which it will present for the first time at its season-opening concerts in September.

Music Director Jane Glover will be on the podium for Haydn's final large-scale work which, as the title suggests, is split into four sections depicting spring, summer, fall and winter.

The performances (sung in the original German text) will be Sept. 16 at First United Methodist Church in Evanston and Sept. 17 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park.

Glover has invited three soloists who will make their Music of the Baroque debuts: soprano Rebecca Evans, tenor Shawn Mathey and bass-baritone Nathan Berg.

Music of the Baroque's 37th season will run through May 13, 2008, with 17 performances of seven concert programs scheduled.

The other major choral work set for next season will be J.S. Bach's "St. Matthew Passion," scheduled for late March 2008.

One of the most elaborately scored of Bach's choral works and considered a musical landmark of the Baroque period, the passion is scored for double orchestra and chorus and requires six major vocal soloists and several minor soloists.

Tenor Paul Agnew, last heard with the ensemble in Bach's "St. John Passion," will sing the role of the Evangelist (narrator) in these concerts, set for March 30, 2008, at First United Methodist Church in Evanston and March 31, 2008, at the Harris Theater.

Five performances of the ensemble's traditional holiday brass and choral concert, conducted by chorus director Edward Zelnis, will be presented next season, including a new Saturday matinee.

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