Samain                                                                             Moving Moon

Kate and I just got back from a baroque/early music concert in St. Paul at the Baroque Room. After Bach’s Orchestral Suite Nr. 2 in B Minor, I leaned over to her and said, “Would you like to get coffee afterward at the St. Paul Hotel?”

That was my question the last St. Paul Chamber Orchestra concert of March in 1988. I’d waited the entire season to ask her out and almost didn’t even then. After that, we dated, then in 1990 got married not far from the Ordway Theater where we had met. The St. Paul Landmark center is just across Rice Park.

Chamber Music, the sort which the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra has made its repertoire, was originally just that, music played in a chamber, or room. The Baroque Room is a small chamber in which the Flying Forms, a Baroque ensemble, play and invite others in to play. They manage the room and the concert series there. I recommend it. The experience is intimate, just like chamber music was meant to be.

While writing this, I began to wonder where I first encountered chamber music. I think it must have been through a wonderful program that was in place while I was in seminary. It offered coupons for very cheap season tickets to the Guthrie, the Minnesota Orchestra and, I imagine, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

When I first started going to the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, they were directed by Dennis Russell Davies and played in the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium on the campus of St. Catharine’s college in St. Paul. Something in early music, baroque music and classical music speaks to my soul. I’m not literate enough musically to know what it is, but when I hear Bach or Mozart, Haydn, Purcell, Telemann a mode of transport occurs that carries me into another time and into a more serene and gentle world.

Realized today that I miss it. Kate and I stopped going some time ago. The evening drives, the 8 pm start time, the soft lights and warmth made the concerts sleep inducing. An affront to the music and to ourselves. 20 years or so I went, often weekly during the season, so this music was a major part of my life for a very long time.

Gonna spend some money in Colorado and get our sound system up and working so we can listen at home. We’ve not done much of that at all.

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