While the water falling from the sky might have seeped into the grass that served as the floor of the O’Neill Plaza Arts Fest tent on Friday, coating the bottoms of the audience’s shoes in mud, everyone present was ready for a relaxing and enjoyable hour of warm music from the Baroque period. This event was composed of three shorter performances by different groups in the Boston College Chamber Music Society—BC Baroque, the Flute Ensemble, and the Cello Ensemble.
First up was BC Baroque, an ensemble of musicians playing music exclusively from the Baroque period. Some of these musicians taking the stage had just come from a performance with the Symphony Orchestra that ended only 20 minutes before. The group played only one piece: “Winter” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The piece is divided into three movements—fast, slow, and fast again. Beginning with some truly incredible violin work, “Winter” was a very fitting choice for the evening. Audience members sat, listening to the music and watching their breath fog in front of them in the cold, wet air. The rain pattering outside the tent provided an additional weather-related effect for the event. Yet, BC Baroque excelled in its piece. Violins and cellos took center stage, but a keyboardist standing in for a harpsichord lent that classical Baroque sound to the performance.
Next up was the Flute Ensemble. In stark contrast to the weather, the all-flute music was light and airy. At times, the lilting tune became almost ethereal, recalling sentiments of fairy music in a wooded glen, like a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This sense made the chilly evening feel just a bit warmer, a sentiment that was certainly welcomed by all in attendance. The performance was put on by eight female flutists, some using alto or bass flutes, to a contrasting and enhancing effect. Throughout the short performance, the sounds of the flutes floated like a phantasm drifting through the air of the tent. In preface to a piece of music by Bach, Judy Grant, a faculty member in the music department, introduced four of the flutists as seniors about to graduate. While their fellow flutists were certainly sad to see them go, their last performance definitely ended on a high note—in more ways than one.
Closing out the Chamber Music Society event was the Cello Ensemble. The audience was made to understand that the ensemble adopts a different theme every year. This year’s theme was the ever-popular and readily accessible Game of Thrones. The acclaimed television series (and the books it is based on) have been enjoyed by many, and the Cello Ensemble was quick to capitalize on that. The group—all cellos of course—began its performance by playing the theme from the show. Fans of the program would certainly have been able to correspond each stroke of the cello with an imagined visual of a model city being built, as shown in the title crawl of the HBO series. Next up were two pieces that the ensemble had learned with an Irish fiddler. These final performances reflected this well, as the music adopted that lilting and exciting rhythm that so often accompanies sounds from the Emerald Isle.
Featured Image by Kaylie Ramirez / Heights Editor