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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world. To listen to KPAC 88.3 FM, simply open the player in the gray ribbon at the top of this page and choose KPAC: Classical Music.

Austin Baroque Orchestra Comes To San Antonio

Musical sounds from centuries long ago are coming to San Antonio in the form of the
Austin Baroque Orchestra Chamber Players, though you may remember them having come to San Antonio last fall as Settecento.

“We’ll be playing at St. John’s Lutheran Church downtown on Sunday at 3 p.m. and we’ll be playing classical-era chamber music," said Billy Traylor, Austin Baroque Orchestra’s artistic director.

"Haydn and Mozart are the two that pretty much everyone knows," said Traylor. "We’re using the standard string quartet: violin, viola, cello, as well as flute, oboe and guitar.”

But this is where the Austin Baroque Orchestra is unlike most orchestras you’ll hear.

“We perform music generally of the Baroque era, and we do this using period instruments or replicas of instruments from the 18th century," Traylor said. "And we perform this music in the way that we think they performed it back then. The flute is still made out of wood and the oboes and bassoons have many fewer keys than you’d see on a modern instrument. They definitely have a different sound.”

Unlike most orchestras, their stringed instruments are what’s called gut-string, not steel string. If you click "Listen" above you can hear what the Chamber Players sound like.

I had to ask: “Do you have fun?”

“Oh, absolutely! We wouldn’t do it if it weren’t fun. It’s a labor, but it’s a labor of love," Traylor said. "And those of us who perform this music really have a great love for it.”