Chicago's Harris Theater was packed with music lovers especially the beautiful woman who deigned to attend last night's performance with me. The diminutive angel with whom I am allowed to visit my better instincts is a gifted Alto choral director and singer and has performed with most of Chicago's Baroque Chorus and Orchestra - Soprano's Laura Amend and Maire O'Brien, and a Bass named Hoss.One of the soloists was Alto Nina Heebink who doubled as a mezzo soprano.
I knew Conductor Nicholas Kraemer as I had watched his athleticism and buoyant grace charge the atmosphere at Chicago's Symphony Center two years ago. With the body of a wrestler or a gymnast, Kraemer brings full-contact grace to music. More importantly, the man is intelligent, witty, gracious and warm.
Last night, Maestro Kraemer performed a Lazarusian miracle on Cantatta: "Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft" by George Phillip Telemann which had only been performed once since its composition in 1726. Telemann, Maestro Kraemer told us, wrote more than 1,000 Cantatas. The score for the text was found in Belgium.
Baroque music is from the age when Fredrick the Great was bullying Europe and Marlborough was slaughtering Frenchman at Blenheim - when the House of Hanover (Windsor) were still working on their resumes to get England to replace poor old Queen Anne. Baroque is ornate, intricate, diverse and humorous - combining peasant motiffs with court hubris. Bach, Tellemann, Hayden and the lads knew that the world was Vanity itself and that all things must look back to God and maybe people would eventually shake off some of their nonsense.
Nicholas Kraemer is a Scot and a harpsichordist
holds the positions of Permanent Guest Conductor of the Manchester Camerata and Principal Guest Conductor of Music of the Baroque, Chicago.http://www.caroline-phillips.co.uk/artists/CPM_NK.htm
Kraemer’s recent highlights have included acclaimed débuts with The Chicago Symphony, Detroit Symphony and Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra. He enjoys frequent collaborations with the BBC Philharmonic and BBC National Orchestra of Wales; the Northern Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Musikcollegium Winterthur. Other major ensembles with whom he has conducted include The Hallé, Berlin Philharmonic and Rotterdam Philharmonic
Opera engagements have taken him to Paris, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Geneva and Marseilles. Amongst recent projects have been The Magic Flute and Handel’s Jephtha for English National Opera, Agrippina for Theater Aachen and L’Incoronazione di Poppea for Central City Opera, Colorado.
Nicholas Kraemer’s 09/10 plans include début appearances with the South Jutland and Colorado Symphony Orchestras as well as Le Nozze di Figaro with Den Nye Opera.
Kraemer seems like an absolutely wonderful gent! Two years, ago there was an in cocert screw up by a stage hand at Orchestra Hall, during a Hayden presentation and Kraemer erased any and all unease. He is the anti- George Solti. That Magyar egoist would have had the stagehand's job and guts for garters. ( click my post title for that story)
In a genuine act of grace during the final concert applause, Maestro Kraemer gestured our applause toward the Angels, or The Saints - the great volunteers how ushered the performance standing at the wings of audience - Non Nobis Sed Te Deum et Angeliis!
Maestro Kraemer warmly and genuinely highlighted all musicians and singers individually and en masse. Kraemer is Baroque itself he turns attention away from himself and reminds us of God's hand in all things.
Maestro, I would love to buy you a pint of Belhaven Ale ( or Fuller's London Pride) at Duke of Perth! Bravo!!