Monadnock Music’s wild night of baroque music

  • Monadnock Music’s Black Tie & Baroque, cocktails and salon concert on Saturday in Dublin. Courtesy Photo

  • Monadnock Music’s Black Tie & Baroque, cocktails and salon concert in Dublin on Saturday. Courtesy Photo

  • Monadnock Music's Black Tie & Baroque, cocktails and salon concert, in Dublin on Saturday.  Courtesy Photo

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/15/2019 4:14:37 PM

Monadnock Music shared a sneak peek into its upcoming season at the Black Tie and Baroque concert and salon in Dublin Saturday night.

The music salon centered around the work of Italian baroque composers and was held in the former a Catholic church-turned home Our Lady of the Snow in Dublin.

Laina Barakat, Monadnock Music executive director, welcomed the audience and said the event was dreamed up by the homeowners, Jerry and Susan Bird.

To keep the evening intimate there were no printed programs. Instead the musicians – Andrus Madsen on the harpsichord, Michael Unterman on the baroque cello and Sarah Darling and Francis Loo both on baroque violins – introduced the pieces and talked about the historical significance and geographical origins of the compositions that had a focus on the lesser-known Italian baroque composers. They opened with a piece by Italian baroque composer Giuseppe Antonio Brescianello, who spent time in the Munich Court.

“Now that we’ve got some playing under our belt, I want to tell you where we are,” Madsen said, afterward the first number. “We are in November of 1719 at the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich, experiencing music in the Munich Court. … All of the music that we are playing tonight, you could have heard at the Munich Court.”

Madsen said baroque music has been dominated by composers who came from the Protestant north of Germany.

“And it turns out that there are these incredible gems in the south,” Madsen said. “It’s really fun music and it’s fun for us because before this concert we had never played any Brescianello. Only in the past five years did people have any idea this music was so good. So you guys are, like, really in the know.”

There were several moments of improvisation during the concert including a harpsichord solo by Madsen in the style of the Munich Court circa 1719.

“When the keyboard player, when he played a solo, he wouldn’t have played anything written,” Madsen said. “I gave a lecture the other day that asked the question, ‘What is the difference between classical music and jazz?’ The answer being. ‘There is none.’”

At the beginning of the evening, Barakat said, Monadnock Music is currently celebrating its 55th year.

“We’re very close to announcing the dates and locations of our next summer. What I can tell you is we are going to open on June 17 and we’re going to close on Aug. 19,” she said.

Barakat said they are expanding their free concert program in 2020. “We had a very strong financial year, this year,” she said. “So we’re going from nine free concerts to 12 free concerts.”

The mission of Monadnock Music is to provide free and low-cost classical music concerts to the region, she said.

“Our goal is to be able to bring the highest caliber music into the towns and villages of the Monadnock Region in a way that you wouldn’t experience driving to Boston or to New York City. You’re able to have an intimate encounter with musicians of a very high caliber, chat with them afterward and be able to provide something for your friends who are visiting, your children, and for your own life – just a really excellent cultural experience that you might not otherwise be able to get,” Barakat said.

Monadnock Music is currently in its offseason, which will include several more events, she said, including the Holidays with House Tours, Music and Cheer on Friday, Dec. 6, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

“Four lovely people in Peterborough, on Pine Street, have offered to open their homes. They are going to decorate like crazy and every home will have a hot beverage and a cookie, so it’s going to be really fun for families and kids. And, just for adults, one of the places is going to have hot mulled wine.”

The house tours will also include live classical music and carolers. Tickets for the house tours are $15 per person or $40 for a family (children 10 and under $5), Free to all veterans. Tickets can be purchased at

Then in January, in partnership with the Keene Indian Association, Monadnock Music plans to present an Indian concert with both traditional sitar music as well as a piece from a contemporary solo flute piece by an Indian composer.

In February a Cabaret Brunch, right before Valentine’s Day, is planned.

The offseason will continue in March, with the annual music lecture, with coffee and tea, at the Peterborough Players. The event is free for members.

In April, Monadnock Music is partnering with the Monadnock International Film Festival to present a live music and film event.

In May a free, family-friendly classical music with an accompanying light concert is planned.

In June right before the start of its 2020 season, Monadnock Music is partnering with the Thing in the Spring to present three free hour-long, lunchtime concerts in Depot Park. These concerts will continue to be held every Thursday through September.

The 2020 season will include the James Bolle Memorial Concert of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony on July 26 at the Peterborough Town House.

“We originally had a little bit of a hard time getting enough choristers for when we wanted to book that concert so we moved it to Jim Bolle’s birthday on July 26,” Barakat said. “It’s going to be great. We’re going to have the full chorus that we need because in order to balance out a 60 person orchestra you need about 100, 120 voices. So if anybody wants to sing it’s going to be an amazing opportunity to work with Gil Rose and an amazing other conducting Wayne Abercrombie. You get to work with both of them.”

The 2020 season is set to close with an upscale concert and fireworks show at the Aldworth Manor in Harrisville.

“It will be a really nice season and there will be far more events than in my four years,” she said.

You can learn more at

Meghan Pierce is an editor at the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript. You can reach her at

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