Forgive us. We can’t pass up the chance to declare that concerts staged on two upcoming Wednesdays at 5:00 PM in Gordon Hall at Music Mountain in Falls Village (July 27th and August 3rd) are ”going for Baroque.” It is the summer, after all – shorts, watermelon and bad plays on words are all in season.
The Northwest Music Association (NMA), celebrating 16 seasons of bringing enchanting Baroque performances to the area, have accepted the invitation of Music Mountain to present their summer concerts in the air-conditioned, acoustically superb hall. The usual venue for the NMA events has been St. John’s Church in Salisbury, but this summer construction at the church required a temporary move. Under the guidance of Paddy Rossbach, President of the Board of Directors for NMA, arrangements were completed to accept the neighborly invitation from Artistic Director Oskar Espina-Ruiz and the Music Mountain Board of Directors to move concerts to the Music Mountain campus. And, the music plays on.
The most recent concert, presented by the superbly talented The New Baroque Soloists, offered a glimpse into the format for these Wednesday evening experiences. While most classical concerts are performed with a certain protocol that requires the audience to quietly check the program to identify which piece is being performed and which, if any, of the performers is to be featured, the casual summer format for the NMA concerts have a refreshingly informal feel. The musicians introduce the pieces selected and comment about the composer, the context, the instruments being played and the themes to be highlighted.
The combination of a very relaxed atmosphere and superb musicianship is truly refreshing … and very much worth the investment of a bit over an hour before a standing ovation greets the creative effort and the wine bottles are uncorked for a light reception. It’s a “meet and greet” opportunity to connect with old friends and have candid conversations with the musicians who have just shared their estimable talent.
Classical music does abound in the Litchfield Hills and Berkshires during the summer months. Certainly, Tanglewood is the “mother church” of classical concerts with its expansive “shed,” sweeping lawn, its acres of hilly parking and admission prices reflective of the scope of the operation as the Boston Symphony Orchestra is transplanted to the Berkshires. Surely, an experience not to be missed.
Concerts presented by the NMA do not strive to compete. Admission is free with a donation suggested, but not mandatory. Parking at Music Mountain is convenient to the concert hall. Placing the concerts on Wednesday evenings provides a lively and lovely way to invest a few enjoyable hours and make it home in time for supper.
A visit to the NMA website (www.northwestmusicassociation.com) will provide the particulars for the upcoming concerts including the program. Music Mountain is located at 225 Music Mountain Road in Falls Village, CT.