Fredericksburg will soon host a rare music performance. Austin Baroque Orchestra Music Director Billy Traylor described them this way:
“We’re a period instrument orchestra so we perform music from the 17th and 18th century on replicas of instruments from that time," Traylor said.
This comes from a time before metal strings and before wind instruments had valves. If you listen to the audio package above, you can hear the Austin Baroque Orchestra, and it is different.
I asked Traylor about their upcoming concert in Fredericksburg.
"It’s called Haydn Go Seek and it’s performance of music by Joseph and Michael Haydn" he said. "And what we’re going to be doing is performing a good example of four of the main large scale genres Haydn was known for: symphony, concerto, opera, and setting up the Catholic mass."
Which is appropriate given that this all happens at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. The 4PM Sunday, March 9th free performance is not a mass though, simply a performance in what may be Texas’s most beautiful of the painted churches.
"We’ll be doing his Symphony No. 30, and we’ll be doing one of his organ concertos. And we’ll be doing the overture to an opera, It’s really dark and spooky, it doesn’t sound anything like what most people are used to hearing from Haydn," Traylor said.
You’re encouraged to get there a little early so you can learn something about the context of Baroque music.
“And we’ll have a free pre-concert talk at 3:30. It’s very informal" said Traylor.
Traylor said these composers were real people, not the rigid composers that many people think of.
"These people were just as human as we were, and had just as many faults and frailties,” he said.
- More on this Austin Baroque Orchestra concert at: ensemblesettecento.org