5 Reasons Baroque Music Never Needs Fixing

Updated: Aug 30, 2018

St. Andrew's Cathedral, Chamber Concert Series, Concert Hall, Jackson, MS

Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s season opener, Chamber I: Baroque, expands into two performances for the first time, thanks to a standing room only crowd that packed St. Andrew’s Cathedral concert hall so tight in recent years, some poor souls had to be turned away.

Not this year! Soak up some of that 17th and 18th century splendor at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 8 or at 2 p.m. Sept. 9, and be reminded of all the reasons Baroque music never needs fixing …

Number One

Baroque music stands the test of time. What we’re listening to now is the cream of the crop — stellar works that still sing centuries later. Think about it. Who goes back to the Baroque period and chooses a mediocre piece to play now? Not MSO.

Number Two

It’s transparent. It’s easy to tell what’s going on, and it’s much more immediately accessible than more complicated works.

Number Three

It resonates today the same way it did back in the day. In the intimate setting of St. Andrew’s Cathedral, you’re closer to the orchestra — just like royalty back then, in the palace chambers where this music was originally performed.

Number Four

It’s got a good beat. Baroque music was almost exclusively based on dance forms of the time. That’s why movements are named jig, bourée or minuet. The rhythmic vibrancy touches something in us. Fast-forward a few centuries, we still get that sense of dance — slow or fast, pensive or joyful — when we hear this music. Any time you can connect to the whole body, not just the mind, it’s a good thing.

Number Five

It’s a chance to catch up with old friends. Pachelbel’s Canon, for instance — everybody knows it and half the world’s had it at their wedding. Bach’s famous “Air,” too  —the minute you hear it, there’s an “Oh yeah!” recognition. We’re reconnecting with old friends worth seeing again.

St. Andrew's Cathedral, Chamber Concert Series, Concert Hall, Jackson, MS

Baroque Concert Program

G. F. Handel, Arrival of the Queen of Sheeba from Solomon Jean-Philippe Rameau, Selections from Platèe Alessandro Marcello, Oboe Concerto in C minor         Julie Hudik, oboe Johann Pachelbel, Kanon in D Major Antonio Vivaldi, Flute Concerto in D Major, “Goldfinch,” RV 428, Op. 10, No. 3         Amulet Strange, flute Johann Sebastian Bach, Orchestral Suite No. 3, BWV 1068 

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