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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

Austin Baroque Orchestra Takes Mission Concepcion Back in Time

Austin Baroque Orchestra
Austin Baroque Orchestra

An atypical type of orchestra is bringing their sound to San Antonio. I caught up recently with their Artistic Director.

“We’re going to be doing our yearly Latin American Early Music concert.”

That’s Billy Traylor on the Austin Baroque Orchestra.

“Every year we come to San Antonio to Mission Concepcion; we’ve done this the past two or three years now. And it’s particularly special because we’re playing music from colonial Latin America in a colonial Spanish Church. So it’s as close as you can come to hearing this music in its original setting.

So they’re playing period music in a period building, but that’s not the last of this concert’s interesting aspects.

“We try to inject new life into music from mainly the 17th and 18th centuries, using copies of instruments from the 17th and 18th centuries, but also by re-discovering and using the performance style from back then.”

He says there are some things within that music that weren’t actually written down in the scores.

“There’s a great deal from 17th and 18th century that isn’t actually in the music itself that you have to know how to do.”

They’ve played at Concepcion before, so what memories does this bring back for him?

“Just how incredibly special it is, to play this music in a physical setting that is so much like the original setting that the music was written for.”

How big an ensemble are they bringing?

“This group that we’re going to be bringing down there are about 16 singers, and there’s going to be about 16 players. So there’s going to be between 32 and 34 onstage when everybody’s on stage.”

That is a large group, and a lot of sound!

“Yeah, it really is.”

Here’s the lowdown on the concert.

“It will take place on Sunday, Nov. 16, at 4 p.m. at Mission Concepcion.”

For more on the concert, go here.

For more on Austin Baroque Orchestra, gohere.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii