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Water music from Martin Pearlman’s ‘Finnegans Wake’

Boston Baroque premiered music director Martin Pearlman’s “Ricorso,” which is Act III of his work-in-progress “Finnegans Wake: An Operoar.”
Boston Baroque premiered music director Martin Pearlman’s “Ricorso,” which is Act III of his work-in-progress “Finnegans Wake: An Operoar.” Patrick O’Connor

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CAMBRIDGE — “Let her rain now,” Anna Livia Plurabelle says on the next to last page of “Finnegans Wake,” and rain it did Saturday, as if in celebration of the premiere of Boston Baroque music director Martin Pearlman’s “Ricorso,” which is Act III of his work-in-progress “Finnegans Wake: An Operoar.” Water is a key element in James Joyce’s riverrun of a novel, so the author would surely have been pleased to have Mother Nature on his side.

The evening itself, part of Boston Baroque’s “New Directions” series, was titled “Monologues,” and it offered a trio of them. First up was Handel’s cantata “Agrippina condotta a morire.” Agrippina, the wife of the Roman emperor Claudius, poisoned her husband so that her son Nero could have the throne. Now Nero has sentenced his mother to death, and as she’s being led away, she implores the gods to send down thunder and lightning and, yes, rain on Rome, then relents and becomes maternal.

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