Nero and Poppea were the amoral power couple of 60s A.D. imperial Rome, and they didn’t care who got in their way. They are the subjects of Claudio Monteverdi’s final operatic masterpiece, The Coronation of Poppea, based on Roman history and written in 1653 for the carnival season in Venice.
The Boulder Bach Festival will reprise its highly successful 2014 partnership with 3rd Law Dance/Theater with a new work that combines the music of J.S. Bach with iconoclastic 20th-century American composer John Cage.
Friday, March 13 in St. John’s Cathedral, Denver, and Saturday, March 14 in First United Methodist Church, Boulder. Soloists appearing with Pro Musica and the St. John’s Cathedral Choir will be soprano Ashley Hoffman, alto Marjorie Bunday, tenor Steven Soph and bass David Farwig.
Because it is an elegy, the Beethoven score works well with the final piece on the program, Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” Quartet, an intense and somber piece that takes its mood and the theme of its slow movement from Schubert’s song of the same name.
Bach’s B-minor Mass is one of the most studied, most wellknown works of music there is. But have all the answers been found to performing this monumental work? Zachary Carrettin, the music director of the Boulder Bach Festival and conductor for the B-minor Mass this weekend, doesn’t think so.
Conductor Cynthia Katsarelis explains that the composer left it up to the listener to decide: “The concerto was commissioned by violinist Robert McDuffie,” she says. “But when McDuffie and Glass got together, they didn’t agree on which parts went with which season.
“The music is very approachable,” Saless says. “I think ‘Romance’ is the perfect name I could give it. It immediately tells you it’s a friendly concert, right?” Although not a familiar name today, Arensky was once considered one of Russia’s most promising composers.
“I always felt like on New Year’s Eve, the only game in town in classical music is the Colorado Symphony,” he says, speaking of the CSO’s annual “Night in Vienna” (6:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve in Boettcher Concert Hall). “I thought, ‘It’s kind of a far thing to go all the way to Denver.