The Les Delices ensemble took the stage in McCray for the second concert of the Solo Chamber Music Series.
The ensemble performed on Friday, Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sharon Kay Dean Recital Hall and is made up of professional musicians Debra Nagy on oboe, Julie Andrijeski and Tekla Cunningham on violin, Cynthia Black on viola, and Elinor Frey on cello. They performed a variety of repertoire primarily from the Classical period on a program entitled, “Mozart in Paris.” Andrijeski also taught a masterclass in the afternoon on styles of dance in the Baroque period.
“They have the opportunity to experience other artforms,” Andrijeski said. “… They get to learn about movement, and you can always apply any sort of movement to any music that you play… the more you can move… the better off you’re going to be.”
Andrijeski taught students in the masterclass how to do various Baroque dances such as the gavotte and the bouree, as well as learning a style of standing called the “bearing noble,” where students stood the same way dancers stood in the Baroque era when meeting royals or dignitaries.
“It’s just fun,” Andrijeski said. “I love opening eyes and opening up energy… it’s always a fun experience.”
Artists and ensembles for the Solo Chamber Music Series are selected by the “Friends of the Series” committee made up of music department professors, professional musicians in the community, and patrons and supporters of the arts.
“Suggestions from the Series’ content could come as a result of a committee member having a colleague…” said Susan Marchant, music department chair. “… There is a constant flow of suggestions coming from managers that we have long-standing relationships with… They have a pretty good idea of what our series is and how terrific our audience is.”
Marchant said that getting early music groups to come to PSU to perform is “quite easy.”
“This group offers several different programs,” She said. “They perform a Classical program tonight, but had they brought in their Baroque program, we of course would have had to supply the harpsichord, which is no problem for us… It’s no problem because we have the instruments.”
Marchant also said that it was “absolutely delightful” to have Les Delices for both the concert and the masterclass.
“For many people in the audience tonight, it may be the first time in their lifetime that they’ve had the opportunity to hear professional level playing on period instruments…” Marchant said. “Once you’ve heard that sound or that style of playing, you really get the sense of what it takes to make a study of it and do it correctly.”
Marchant said that the tradition of playing music as the Renaissance musicians did was “just starting” when she was in school.
“When the trend started, the earliest examples of historically informed performance had lots of squeaks and squawks as you could imagine… but now… the level of specialization is just off the charts.” Marchant said.