The Baroque instrumental group, Amphion’s Echo, will perform tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. in Fletcher Recital Hall.
The concert will feature members of the East Carolina University School of Music faculty and graduate students playing Baroque era music on special early versions of their instruments. Baroque trumpet, cello and violin, as well as harpsichord and soprano voice will all be represented.
ECU’s early music professor, Thomas Huener, said that one thing sets baroque period music apart from later era classical music and that is the cohesiveness of the sound.
“We have a very, very different sound and quality on these early instruments that is much more musically social in that they blend well together,” Huener said.
He said that the baroque trumpet has no valves, meaning that the musician has to make tone adjustments all with movements of the mouth and lips. He said this design of the historical instruments lends itself to lead to a softer overall sound.
“It has a gentler style intended for a smaller venue, not a huge opera house, so the expressive gestures tend to be more nuanced and subtle and quiet,” Huener said.
Violin performance graduate student, Delaney Armstrong, said that even people who aren’t familiar with baroque music would be able to appreciate its beauty and should come out to experience something new.
“It’s also just like really pretty music. So it’s not going to be something that is challenging for a listener," Armstrong said. “I think it would provide a nice opportunity to sit back and relax and hear something just nice and organic and beautiful.”
Armstrong also noted that hearing the baroque instruments is a unique opportunity to hear music as it was heard and played centuries ago. Armstrong said that she would actually be playing on a violin from the early 1700s.
Huener also spoke about playing baroque music as being like archaeologists, bringing unfamiliar music from the past to a modern audience.
“Most of the literature is completely unknown,” Huener said. “So I think you’ll hear something expressive and intimate and new in the sense that the music is not at all well known, I think most audience members would come and not now nearly all of the music.”
Being a group composed, at its core, of faculty members, Huener said that Amphion’s Echo provides a model for students and as such is primarily based at ECU.
Junior trumpet performance major, Terrence Blue, who is playing baroque trumpet in a concert on Friday said that he appreciates having the opportunity to listen to professionals playing in this style because it gives him a chance to hear and learn what he needs to change in his own playing.
“It’s a different style of playing,” Blue said. “I couldn’t understand it unless I was listening to it. So therefore with me listening to them do it, it’s easier for me to understand and gauge how different and what needs to be done to make that difference.”
The performance is free and open to the public. For more information call 252-328-6851.