If it seems bizarre that an organization called Music of the Baroque would label its season-finale program “Gloriously Baroque,” it is an indication of just how far the repertoire of the organization has strayed from its original mission. No matter, enjoy a basically Bach program with a couple of Telemann works while you can.
The theme here is St. Michael slaying the dragon and no less than three Bach cantatas celebrating that feast day will be included: BWV 50, 130 and 19 along with Bach’s First Brandenburg Concerto which conductor Nicholas Kraemer thinks has been played too prettily and properly in the past; Kraemer feels that the horns were intended as hunting horns being introduced as a raucous diversion and plans on including them as such. No word as to whether these will be the natural horns that Bach would have used, which would really add to that effect.
The rarely heard Telemann cantata “Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft” also takes up the Michael vs. the dragon theme, which will be heard along with a Telemann Suite in d minor for three oboes, bassoon and strings. (Dennis Polkow)
May 7 at 7:30pm, Millennium Park’s Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph; May 9 at 7:30pm at First United Methodist Church, 516 Church, Evanston, (312)551-1414. $30-$78.
Dennis Polkow is an award-winning veteran journalist, critic, author, broadcaster and educator. He made his stage debut at age five, was a child art prodigy and began playing keyboards in clubs at the age of fourteen. He holds degrees in music theory, composition, religious studies and philosophy from DePaul University in Chicago. Polkow spent his early years performing and recording in rock and jazz bands while concertizing as a classical pianist, organist and harpsichordist and composing, arranging and producing for other artists. As a scholar, Polkow has published and lectured extensively and taught at several colleges and universities in various departments. As an actor, narrator and consultant, Polkow has been involved with numerous films, plays, broadcasts and documentaries. As a journalist, Polkow helped co-create the experiential Chicago Musicale and Spotlight, the award-winning tabloid arts and entertainment section of the Press Publications chain of newspapers, which he later edited. He also created and ran the nationally recognized journalism program at Oakton College and was faculty advisor to its award-winning student newspaper; many former students went on to major media careers, including Channel Awesome’s the Nostalgia Critic. Polkow’s research, interviews, features, reviews and commentaries have appeared across national and international media and he has corresponded from the Middle East, Asia and Africa for the Chicago Tribune. Contact: email@example.com