We’ve heard of Brokelyn and Crooklyn, but this is the first we’re hearing of Baroquelyn. And it’s truly something to hear.
The baroque-themed concert — complete with violins as well as an oboe, trumpet, cello, bassoon, recorder, and even a countertenor — is the brainchild of our music director, Aleeza Meir; the project’s first concert, on Sunday, November 12, was performed in the Upper Hall and drew a full house.
Baroque music (Portuguese for “misshapen pearl”) was mostly composed between 1600 and 1750, by such notable composers as Johann Sebastian Bach. Its most recognizable instrument is the harpsichord (which Aleeza played during the concert), on which pressing the keys causes a quill to pluck the strings. The musical style had a brief resurgence in pop music in the 1960s (think of The Beatles’ piano solo bridge played by George Harrison on “In My Life”).
“I find baroque music to be some of the most beautiful music around,” Aleeza says. “There are pieces that have been on my radar for ages, and this was a chance for me to pull some of my favorite ones and find the players who matched.”
Those matches were a rousing success. Superb musicians traveled to Old First from all over Manhattan and Brooklyn, and from as far as Boston (recorder player Martin Bernstein) to perform for the event.