In a couple of days, we’ll be heading for Boston where we will be attending the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF), which for us is the Boston Marathon! This is the premier festival for early music junkies (like ourselves), which The Times of London calls “the world’s leading festival of early music.” The New York Times says “For fans and performers of early music, Boston is paradise for a week every other June, when the Boston Early Music Festival sets up its combination concert marathon and trade show.” Even the Boston Herald calls it “the early music equivalent of the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Stanley Cup and the NBA playoffs all rolled into one.”
Two years ago, you may remember that we attended a total of 25 concerts during the week, including back-to-back six concert days (12 concerts in 2 days!) But that was only a drop in the bucket of the more than 100 concerts held during the ten days of the festival. I invite you to go back and read my posts on our marathon of BEMF 2011 concerts:
Boston Early Music Festival
A musical banquet
A little break today (musical instrument exposition)
Six concerts in one day!
Another six concerts
Chance encounters of the close kind
The crown jewel (the opera, Niobe, with Philippe Jarrousky, countertenor)
Sharing BEMF with the world
“Kathy, I’m just not going to do that again!” Carl said two years ago, in spite of hearing all these absolutely fabulous, over-the-top performances. “I’m just too old for all this, and my body won’t take it!” So this year, we are holding tickets for only 17 Festival concerts and only one day with six concerts in a day, followed by a day with five concerts. But that won’t include the so-called “fringe” concerts which are held all over the city of Boston. Click here to see this enormous list of these fabulous musical offerings, a virtual marathon of musical banquets!
Here are some of the highlights of this year’s Festival that we are looking forward to hearing: Salzburg Mozarteum Quartet (featuring an authentic violin and viola from Mozart’s time and Kristian Bezuidenhout, our favorite performer on the fortepiano); Dame Emma Kirkby, world-class early music soprano; an Organ Festival called “The Genius of Johann Sebastian Bach” at First Lutheran Church; the Newberry Consort; a Fortepiano festival; the Hilliard Ensemble; Hesperion XXI directed by Jordi Savall; a chamber opera by Marc-Antoine Charpentier; and a fully-staged Handel opera, Almira, billed as “a dazzling spectacle of dance, comedy, and drama!”
You can click here for a short video preview of Almira from The Boston Globe.