Boise Baroque Orchestra 

Friday, April 29, at the College of Idaho

Orchestral music featuring woodwinds and strings is usually referred to as classical. But like rock music's almost ad infinitum designations--punk, indie, garage, pop, progressive, alt, art, psychedelic--a number of sub-genres stay dry under the "classical" umbrella, including baroque.

Baroque is European classical music created between 1600-1750, and if you've heard the music of Bach, Handel or Vivaldi, you've heard baroque. It's haunting, spiritual, emotive and grand but also limiting for an orchestra dedicated to playing only music of that period. So don't let the "baroque" in Boise Baroque Orchestra fool you. While the group certainly does perform the beautiful strains of Bach, it also performs the music of Mozart when the mood strikes. BBO Artistic Director Daniel Stern also brings the compositions of Wagner and local composers including Jim Cockey and Dave Alan Earnest to the great hall of the First United Methodist Church Cathedral of the Rockies, where the orchestra performs its Sunday concerts. And if the church setting has kept you from attending a BBO performance in Boise, it's time to get thine butt into a pew.

Stern explained that the music isn't religious, but the beauty of the cathedral lends itself well to the majesty of the pieces.

"Much of the music written before 1750 wasn't written for public concerts. It was written for aristocrats. It was performed in huge, beautiful palaces," he said.

So as you sit during BBO's season finale--which includes the music of Chevalier St. George, Vitali and Telemann and features Stern's daughter Rebecca Stern, an acclaimed violinist--let the sun pouring through the cathedral's stunning stained glass windows wash over you and sit back for, if not a religious experience, at least a spiritual one.

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