Go for Baroque

The Los Angeles Baroque Players brought history, heritage, and knowledge to students and music enthusiasts alike during the Pierce College Thursday Concert Series.

The group, which has seen over 90 members since its inception in 1983, took the shape of a trio for Thursday’s concert. The group is a staple to the concert series and brings a new mix of classical pieces from 15th and 16th century composers such as Attilio Ariosti and Johannes Sebastian Bach.

James Bergman, professor of music appreciation, enjoys seeing his students react to the genre, which many begin with have reservations.

“This is the first old music that really starts to sound new, and most are surprised to realize that they already have a certain familiarity to the music,” said Bergman.

In addition to sharing their rarely practiced music with students, the players also enjoy teaching the students about the technical practices at work.

Anthony Brazier, who plays the baroque flute, emphasizes the deep cultural meaning at work in the pieces.

“Some things may sound different the second time we play them. They aren’t mistakes; there are thing we play that aren’t written down. There are notes that are part of the heritage that transcend notes on paper,” said Brazier.

Adriana Zoppo played the baroque violin for most of the show, that instrument being a slightly less refined instrument than the violin we’re familiar with today, brought some old-school baroque tones when she played the viola d’amore. The viola d’amore is a 14-stringed instrument, similar in size to a violin.

“The [viola d’amore] was a poplar in the baroque and classical periods, but dies out when easier to play and easier to make instruments became the norm. It’s something I’d like to see come back, though,” said Zoppo.

Zoppo proceeded to play two duets, composed specifically for the viola d’amore, which each added a unexpectedly exotic tone to the show.

Throughout the concert, Jeffrey Lavner, who played the harpsichord, sat politely in the background, accompanying the others with melodic and delicate tones. The harpsichord offered a unique and somehow familiar comfort to the music. The audience was simply not prepared when Zoppo and Brazier left the stage for Lavner to break out a crown jewel of the harpsichord world; Bach’s “Capriccio on the Departure of a Beloved Brother.”

Lavner toted the tune which could be comfortably slotted into a Led Zeppelin anthem with little to no tweaks. The intensely emotional and epic sound brought the few bemused audience members to the edge of their seats as Lavner ever increased the intensity of the piece, bringing it to a crescendo, giving way to silence, then shortly after, the greatest applause of the concert.

The other two-thirds of the trio emerged and finished the set with a duo of mid-baroque traditionalist tunes and took their final bow; that is, until next year.

Bergman also noted that the concert is likely the most pertinent to is appreciation class, which makes up a majority of the audience each week.

“Of all the concerts, this really falls in line beautifully with our class. We just completed the unit on baroque music, and it’s great for the students to see the music, rather than listening to or reading about it,” said Bergman.

The next concert Violinist Ji Young An and Pianist James Lent in PAB 3500 at 12:45 p.m. It’s worth it to remember, as all involved in the program would like you to, that each concert is free to all who wish to attend.

The Los Angeles Baroque Players brought history, heritage, and knowledge to students and music enthusiasts alike during the Pierce College Thursday Concert Series.

The group, which has seen over 90 members since its inception in 1983, took the shape of a trio for Thursday’s concert. The group brings a new mix of classical pieces from 15th and 16th century composers such as Attilio Ariosti and Johann Sebastian Bach.

“This is the first old music that really starts to sound new, and most are surprised to realize that they already have a certain familiarity to the music,” Bergman said.

In addition to sharing their rarely practiced music with students, the players also enjoy teaching the students about the technical practices at work.

Anthony Brazier, who plays the baroque flute, emphasizes the deep cultural meaning at work in the pieces.

“Some things may sound different the second time we play them. They aren’t mistakes; there are things we play that aren’t written down. There are notes that are part of the heritage that transcend notes on paper,” Brazier said.

Adriana Zoppo played the baroque violin for most of the show, the instrument a slightly less refined than the violin we’re familiar with today, brought some old-school baroque tones when she played the viola d’amore. The viola d’amore is a 14-stringed instrument, similar in size to a violin.

“The [viola d’amore] was popular in the baroque and classical periods, but dies out when easier to play and easier to make instruments became the norm. It’s something I’d like to see come back, though,” Zoppo said.

Throughout the concert, Jeffrey Lavner, who played the harpsichord, sat politely in the background, accompanying the others with melodic and delicate tones. The harpsichord offered a unique and somehow familiar comfort to the music. The audience was simply not prepared when Zoppo and Brazier left the stage for Lavner to break out a crown jewel of the harpsichord world; Bach’s “Capriccio on the Departure of a Beloved Brother.”

Lavner toted the tune which could be comfortably slotted into a Led Zeppelin anthem with little to no tweaks. The intensely emotional and epic sound brought the few bemused audience members to the edge of their seats as Lavner ever increased the intensity of the piece, bringing it to a crescendo, giving way to silence, then shortly after, the greatest applause of the concert.

The other two-thirds of the trio emerged and finished the set with a duo of mid-baroque traditionalist tunes and took their final bow; that is, until next year.

Bergman also noted that the concert is likely the most pertinent to is appreciation class, which makes up a majority of the audience each week.

“Of all the concerts, this really falls in line beautifully with our class. We just completed the unit on baroque music, and it’s great for the students to see the music, rather than listening to or reading about it,” Bergman said.

The next concert Violinist Ji Young An and Pianist James Lent in PAB 3500 at 12:45 p.m. It’s worth it to remember, as all involved in the program would like you to, that each concert is free to all who attend.