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March Madness meets Baroque in CDFAC

Posted on 04.05.2017

The Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra’s interpretation of March Madness was to feature works by what the IBO considers to be the “Big Four” composers of the Baroque Era: J.S. Bach, Telemann, Vivaldi and Handel. However, due to the weather on the East Coast, according to Kuijken, rehearsal time was limited, therefore resulting in the removal of the piece by Vivaldi, which would have set the theme of the performance that was March Madness.

The IBO Artistic Director Barthold Kuijken conducted and performed in the event on March 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center.

Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra’s violonist Philip Spray plays alongside violinists Yaël Senamaud (left) and Rachel Gries (right) during the J.S. Bach “Suite in C, BWV 1066.” Photo by Morgan Ellis

Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra’s violonist Philip Spray plays alongside violinists Yaël Senamaud (left) and Rachel Gries (right) during the J.S. Bach “Suite in C, BWV 1066.” Photo by Morgan Ellis

“Suite in C, BWV 1066” (c. 1720-24), by J.S. Bach, opened the performance. According to the program notes, “J.S. Bach composed four suites for orchestra but is thought not to have intended them, as he did in the six ‘Brandenburg Concertos,’  to be a set. . . . The ‘Suite in C’ opens with a French overture, which is considered to be a stately grave section, full of dotted rhythms, and is followed by a quick polyphonic section.

“Concerto in G, for 2 flutes, bassoon, TWV 53:G1” c. 1719, by Georg Philipp Telemann, was next in order.  According to the program notes, “Telemann is thought to have written 125 orchestral suites and known to have been equally prolific to many other genres of music, including the concerto. Telemann’s ‘Concerto in G’ falls into the category of concerto grosso, which is a grand concerto. Grand is to represent that instead of just one soloist, there are two or more.

Selections from “Water Music, HWV 348 and 350” (1717), by George Frideric Handel, ended the performance. According to the program notes, “Handel made his first appearance in London in 1710 at the age of 25. He became successful through first, composing Italian opera seria and later of the English oratorio. The work entitled ‘Water Music’ is because the entertainment during that time took place outdoors, on barges progressing from Whitehall to Chelsea and back on the Thames River.”

The Performance for sophomore music education major Jacqueline Wiernicki, was her sixth IBO concert and it is through UIndy that she has been able to attend.

Music majors at UIndy are required to have an equivalent of six semesters of concert recital attendance, according to the music curriculum for music education majors.

“I attended the IBO concert because I have really enjoyed their performances in the past and it is a great way to get music or L/P credits.”

Like Wiernicki, freshman music education major Anna Miller attended the IBO’s performance to fulfill one of her requirements for recital attendance.

“The piece that I found most interesting included the baroque flute,” Miller said. “I had never heard of that instrument and definitely hadn’t ever heard it played by someone. It was definitely very interesting to listen to with its unique timbre compared to the traditional flute. When you think of a flute, you think of its higher timbre and not at all what the baroque flute sounds like.”

Miller said she favored the  “Concerto in G” featuring flautists Leela Breithaupt and Kuijken and bassoonist Keith Collins. The piece was originally set to feature flautist Barbara Kallaur rather than Kuijken,  to outside circumstances intervened, and the ensemble worked together to help the performance process flow smoothly despite the change.

“I pay attention mostly to the violinists because violin is my primary instrument, but I also like to listen to the harpsichord and cellos for the bass line motion as well,” Wiernicki said. “I mostly listen to the violas because my old violin teacher is the principal violist [Rachel Gries] in the IBO.”

In Wiernicki’s years of music at UIndy, she has learned to direct her attention as an audience member in performances to the instrumentalists and other performers as they present their art form.

“Something I don’t think I would realize or listen to if I was not a music major is the bass line in the harpsichord and cello,” Wiernicki said. “[The bass line] really sets the foundation for all of the other instrumental parts.”

During the first week of April, jazz performances from jazz vocalist Typhanie Monique on April 5 at 7:30, Director of Jazz Studies Mark O’Connor on April 6 at 7:30, the Dan Haerle Trio on April 7 at 7:30 and a jazz combo featuring Tim Coffman and the Dan Haerle Trio on April 8 at 7:30 will all take place in the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall in Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center.

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