A Baroque Experience

Friday, January 17, 2020 - By: Sarah R, Mackenzie ‘20

It is always an amazing experience to attend a performance by a talented group of musicians, and even better when you do not have to travel to do it!

Victoria Baroque is a group of dedicated and skilled musicians. Playing on authentic 17th and 18th century instruments including the harpsichord and violone, they share the distinctive music and sound of the Baroque era with their audiences. While compositions from this era are widely played and performed to this day, listening to Victoria Baroque gives the unique opportunity to hear this music performed on less-common period instruments.

Last Sunday January 12th, Brentwood hosted the group for a performance open to the public in the Killy Theater of the T Gil Bunch Center for the Performing Arts, and the music ensemble students were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend free of charge. While we were among the very few heads bearing hair in colours other than grey, the Brentwood music students were able to greatly appreciate and learn from the performance, while enjoying it “very much” observed Carla D, Alex ‘21.

Led by accomplished guest violinist Kati Debretzeni, the group performed two numbers: Jean-Fé Rebel’s “Cahos et Les élémens”, and Antonio Vivaldi’s well-known “The Four Seasons”.

Revolutionary and controversial when it was composed in 1737, Rebel’s last musical composition opens jarringly in a previously unheard of fashion. The discordant beginning is said to demonstrate the chaos at the creation of the world, and as the piece progresses through it’s 10 movements, order is found in musical representations of the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.

Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons concerto remains one of the most famous pieces of Western classical music. What is less well-known, however, are the four sonnets likely written by Vivaldi himself that accompany the music. With one poem for each season, these sonnets give a story to the music, describing the images captured by each movement. It was a unique delight to have these poems explained by Debrentzeni, and it gave the audience a new insight into the musical images present in this famous piece.

As McCoy F, Ellis ‘21 commented, “It was nice to see a professional group perform”, and gave the attentive music students techniques to take back to their rehearsals.

Sarah R, Mackenzie ‘20




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