Behind the Music: Jason Baldwin
What's your favorite piece by Beethoven? Why?
Beethoven wrote so many great pieces, it's hard to choose just one... I have always loved his Fifth Symphony. How can you not? I remember hearing it when I was younger in my family's living room. His Missa Solemnes was one of the first tenor solo jobs for me here in CO, so that will always have a fond spot in my memory, but my favorite is the Ninth Symphony. Other than Handel's Messiah, it is the piece I have performed most. My favorite part is in the middle of the fourth movement. The orchestra plays an expansion on the main motifs that slowly consolidates into a repeated unison F#, and then the chorus comes in with the main theme. There is nothing like it! Since the soloists are not singing during the climactic moment, I always watch the audience. I get chills from this moment every time, and what makes it even more powerful is seeing the faces of the audience.
What's your favorite repertoire to sing?
I just love to sing. I cut my teeth on musical theatre rep in high school, and slowly moved toward classical and opera as I learned how to control my instrument. I still love singing musical theatre though.
Is that different from what you like to listen to? What do you listen to in your non-working time?
Truthfully, I listen to NPR in the car. I feel sometimes that being in the arts lets me live in my own fantasy world. NPR often times gives me grounding, and lets me know what is going on in the world. If I am working outside, let's say, I have a great file of 80's pop hits that always seems to help me get the job done.
What message do you take from the Ode to Joy?
If Beethoven had not adapted this text to this music, I don't know if anyone could. I think that there is an inner need for everyone to experience joy. As I have watched the reactions of thousands of audience members to this piece, it is clear to me that the Beethoven 9th is the bringer of joy to so many people, if only for a few moments.
How do you feel about the Unity Concert aspect of BCO? (10% of net ticket proceeds from the Boulder Concert will benefit Out Boulder County, Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA), and the local chapter of the ACLU. Audience members will determine the proportions of the donation and can abstain if they want.)
I think this is a wonderful idea, and fits with the Ode to Joy completely. As a performer, it gives me a deeper sense of worth to be part of this great idea. Thanks!
Come hear Jason Baldwin on May 5, 6, and 7!