I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked at the clock this morning — 9:30 am! but then I remembered that it was only 3:30 am in Honolulu. We spent the morning shopping before getting to our first concert this afternoon at 3:30 pm.
Being at the Boston Early Music Festival is a cross between being at a musical banquet and running the Boston Marathon — there are so many delectable musical events but you’d have to have the endurance of a long-distance runner in order to attend them all. The major events are Festival-sponsored which you can see by clicking here, in addition to a huge number of fringe concerts which go on all during the day.
Today we heard three fantastic concerts, The first was by the University of North Texas Baroque Orchestra and Collegium, the largest early music college program in the U.S. On the way in to the concert we ran into Derek Chester (who sang in our Monteverdi concerts) and who sang in the ensemble today. It is very gratifying that the level of musicianship in this ensemble is extraordinarily high and to think that these are all students!
Our next concert was by the UNT faculty — and then we realized why the UNT students perform so well — they have outstanding teachers! The virtuosity of all the faculty members who performed today on baroque oboe, violin, bassoon, cello, and harpsichord was truly amazing. Jennifer Lane, mezzo-soprano, who sung in both our St. Matthew and St. John Passions, also sang two solos from baroque opera.
After a fabulous dinner at Asana Restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, we walked to Jordan Hall where we heard a fantastic concert by the King’s Singers, in a program called “Triumphs — Renaissance Conquests in Love and War.” This group is truly world-class: intonation and especially ensemble are impeccable. Carl says that is because this is not just a “gig” or a pickup group — it’s obvious these people sing together every day. I couldn’t detect anyone being the “leader” — they all entered and cutoff absolutely together. And if you have ever been to a King’s Singers concert — you know they make it a lot of fun as well, with their facial expressions and theatrics.