L'Arte del Violino! Review – Baroque Band’s Final Performance

My husband and I were thrilled to be able to attend the “not to be missed” Baroque Band’s final performance.  It was a grand tribute to this group that has been offering exquisite music to the Chicago area for the past decade.  The loyal and appreciative audience welcomed the group with a long round of applause and offered standing ovations at intermission and at the end of the performance.  This was well deserved, as the program was spectacular.


Rachel Barton Pine and Jesse Irons playing together, a final farewell, photo-Julia Hudgins

This program was carefully chosen, featuring violin concertos by Leclair who was know for playing “like and angel”, and Locatelli who was known for “playing like the devil”.


The music, which was exquisite, was enhanced even more by the venue, Nichols Concert Hall.  The hall is a gem in the middle of downtown Evanston, beautiful, intimate and has wonderful acoustics.


Nichols Concert Hall

The audience was treated to these numbers:


Locatelli – Concerto Grosso Op. 4, No. 6 in F Major
Locatelli – L’Arte del Violino, Concerto No. 7 in B-flat Major
Leclair – Violin Concerto Op. 7, No. 5 in A minor
Locatelli – L’Arte del Violino, Concerto No. 12 in D Major

Leclair – Violin Concerto Op. 7, No. 1 in D minor
J.S. Bach – Concerto for Two Violins in D minor


It was Jesse Irons. as soloist, who played “like an angel” all of the Leclair pieces, while Rachel Barton Pine, as soloist,  played the Locatelli pieces “like the devil”. All of the players were outstanding, violinists, violists, cellist, bass and harpsichord. I found the fact that the players stood thoughout the performance very interesting.  As they played, it was almost like watching a dance as they moved to the music, instruments in tow.  When the played together in the J.S. Bach – Concerto for Two Violin D minor, it was simply, heavenly.


This was the first time that I have seen a live performance with Jesse Irons and Rachel Barton Pine and I am grateful for it.  I have heard many recordings on WFMT but this experience was so different.



I know a bit more about Rachel Barton Pine because a friend of mine accompanied her when she was young and beginning her career.  Seeing her in motion was astounding.  The bow gymnastics just had to be seen and the sounds coming forth were ethereal, healing, inspiring – beautiful.  I felt so fortunate to be at this performance.


Rachel Barton Pine

About Rachel Barton Pine:


“Heralded as a leading interpreter of the great classical masterworks, international concert violinist Rachel Barton Pine thrills audiences with her dazzling technique, lustrous tone and emotional honesty.  With an infectious joy in music-making and a passion for connecting historical research to performance, Pine transforms audiences’ experiences of classical music.

She has worked with such renowned conductors as Charles Dutoit, Zubin Mehta, Erich Leinsdorf, Neeme Järvi and Marin Alsop, and with such leading artists as Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, Christopher O’Riley, and Mark O’Connor.  She has collaborated with many contemporary composers including Augusta Read Thomas, John Corigliano, José Serebrier, and Mohammed Fairouz.”  


Jesse Irons

About Jesse Irons:


Deeply committed to historically informed performance, he performs frequently with The Boston Early Music Festival and Handel and Haydn Society, and has served as guest concertmaster and soloist with Boston Baroque.  He’s a founding member of the baroque quintet Gut Reaction and artistic director of Antico/Moderno.  As an educator, Jesse has worked with students on entrepreneurship and chamber music at MIT, Yale, Stanford, Eastman, and New England Conservatory.”  


Garry Clarke, founder of Baroque Band

The playbill says “We encourage you to follow Baroque Band’s musicians on their websites as they continue to make music in Chicago and elsewhere…” I would certainly agree.

Rachel Barton Pine

Jesse Irons

About Music Institue of Chicago


Photos: Courtesy of  the Baroque Band unless otherwise noted.

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