My first live concert was held at the Lone Tree Arts Center on September 9th. The venue was a modern performing arts center built in Lone Tree, Colorado. The event hall was fairly simple, there was a small stage for the performers in front of a large window overlooking the outdoor concert terrace. The green grass and the swaying trees and plants in the background gave the performance a wonderful backdrop. The ceilings were tall, and the entire room was very brightly lit. There were four performers from the Baroque Chamber Orchestra: Stacey Brady, playing the Baroque Violin, Emily Bowman, playing the Baroque Viola, Sandra Miller, with a 5-string Baroque Cello, and Frank Nowell on the Harpsichord. The quartet was playing a number of pieces, with a focus on Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations. The performance lasted for just over an hour.
The performance began with the aria that the Goldberg Variations are based off of. The piece is at a moderate tempo, and its beauty immediately captured the attention of the audience. The piece involves the cello and harpsichord laying out the bass and chords, while the violin leads in a moving and emotional theme. The viola accents the violin and creates a beautiful homophonic texture. After the aria was over, Frank, the harpsichord player, took a few minutes to explain a few things about Baroque music. He described the ground bass concept, and played an excerpt of the basso continuo from the upcoming variations. He also explained that the performers used period instruments to create an authentic experience. The baroque violin and viola are the same as modern stringed instruments, but with two major differences: the tailpiece that holds the strings in place is much simp...
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... the power and emotion behind the original is doubled, and at various sections, each instrument shows off their virtuoso abilities. Variation 21 was also very memorable because its major change was to the minor key. The sweet and beautiful aria became sorrowful and almost depressing.
Each variation had its own defining characteristic, and the unique group of instruments that played them made it a very memorable concert. Each player was very dedicated to their art, as was displayed in their attention to detail in their instruments, and also in their physical expressions while they played. Their bodies rocked and their faces changed as the music flowed from the stage. Overall it was one of the greatest concerts I’ve ever been to. I strongly encourage looking up some of the Goldberg Variations yourself, and if you ever get the chance to see them live, take it.
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