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Free community concert brings Baroque music to the Strand

Celina Colby
Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
Free community concert brings Baroque music to the Strand
COURTESY PHOTO

On Sunday, December 29, Boston Baroque will perform their annual free Community Concert at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester. The 60-minute concert features selections from the Boston Baroque New Year’s concert, which is performed on December 31 and January 1 at the Sanders Theatre in Cambridge.

Concertmaster Christina Day Martinson says she’s most excited to perform Bach’s concerto in D for three violins, which is a reconstruction of a harpsichord concerto. The program also includes Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 4 in D, Corelli’s Concerto Grosso, Opus 6, No. 6 in F and Rameau’s Suite from “Platée.”

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In addition making classical music accessible, Martinson hopes to break down the stereotype that orchestral music is stuffy.

“I feel that there are a lot of qualities in classical music that are similar to rock, rap, any genre that you like,” she says. “Any really good music hits us all in the same place. Some Baroque pieces also can be really, really exciting and full of life. And I think a lot of people are under the impression that it might be boring.”

Boston Baroque is a particularly unique musical experience because it’s not just classical music, but classical scores played on instruments and using techniques that reflect the era of those musical compositions.

This might mean some of the instruments are smaller in size or made of different materials, for example flutes and clarinets made of wood rather than metal. The different materials also require the instruments to be played in a different way. These small changes make a big impact on the sound of the instrument and therefore reflect a more accurate Baroque musical experience. Boston Baroque was the first permanent Baroque orchestra established in North America and still holds the legacy as oldest period instrument orchestra in the United States. Safe to say, they know a thing or two about baroque music.

“I think the family-friendly aspect of the community concert is also very important, as kids are not always welcome and certainly not always encouraged to attend a regular classical music concert,” says Martinson. “This is a wonderful opportunity for them to hear and see the magic of live classical music.”

She describes the concert as being more relaxed than your typical concert hall, audience members often clap or shout verbal appreciation for the music as it’s played, which brings an extra sense of fun to the performance.

“There’s nothing like seeing live music,” says Martinson. “Nothing substitutes for being in the present moment.”

Ticket reservations are available through the Boston Baroque website as well as at the Uphams Corner branch of the Boston Public Library, the Strand Theatre box office and all other Boston Public Library branches in Dorchester.

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