Music conservationists party like it’s 1699

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GOING FOR BAROQUE— Margaret Gaillard, Duane Gruber, Cathe Sobke and Beni Bates of Musica Nova Antigua put on a timeless performance.

Dr. Who can listen to 18th century Baroque music whenever he wishes because he has a time traveling TARDIS machine.

Students who do not share this luxury have the great ensemble Musica Nova Antigua to bring the music to them.

Musica Nova Antigua put on a timeless performance that showcased songs of the 1600s and 1700s from Italy, England, Germany, France and Belgium.

Instruments from the Baroque period (1600-1750) were played by talented musicians who were like Dr. Who for their power to transport an entire audience back in time 400 years. The instrument of mass conduction was the harpsichord, a medieval-style piano that plucks strings rather than striking them. A bass viola de gamba, which is an obscure instrument that is like a cello combined with a bass, was heavily featured in various pieces and contributed to the medieval atmosphere of the recital.

One of the highlights of the recital was Margaret Gaillard’s solo performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Two-part Invention in B-flat major,” which put her considerable talent on display.

Violinist Beni Bates and recorder player Cathe Sobke switched to guitars for “Largo from Concerto for Guitar” by Antonio Vivaldi. Fredric Chopin was right, “Nothing is more beautiful than a guitar, save for perhaps two.”

One issue that made appreciating the music difficult was the length of the songs. A majority had multiple parts that would transition to different tempos. Some songs seemed to stretch out with too many transitions, although it did not take away from the overall performance. “Pieces in Trio” had six parts and lasted almost 10 minutes. Songs were performed well, but too long. Shorter songs were more enjoyable and were able to hold the audience’s attention.

Bates and her ensemble were able to emulate the sound of Medieval Europe for a modern audience and share a sense of what a Baroque concert would be like.

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