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Austin Baroque Orchestra Performs 'Louis, Louis'

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Austin Baroque Orchestra
Austin Baroque Orchestra

Billy Traylor of the Austin Baroque Orchestra said there's one thing in particular that makes the group stand out.

 

"We're a period instrument ensemble, so we perform on copies of instruments from all of the 18th century,” he said, “and our singers sing the way we think they sang back then, so a minimal vibrato."

While this concert has tricentennial roots, those roots are not established in San Antonio.

IF YOU GO What: Austin Baroque Orchestra concert Where: Chapel of the Incarnate Word When: 4 p.m. Sunday Cost:  $20

"Everyone seems to know that San Antonio is turning 300 this year. A lot of people over this way don't realize is that New Orleans also turned in 300 and so we decided to do a concert commemorating that,” Traylor said. “It's all French repertoire from the 18th century. It's called ‘Louis Louis.’ "

Not to be confused with the rock-n-roll song from the 1960s, Traylor said the name is a reference to the three successive French kings from that era.

"Louis the 14th, 15th and 16th, and we'll be performing choral and operatic music, associated with those three kings' courts," he said.

Traylor said French musicians had developed a sound of their own.

"French music is very different from most of the baroque music. We all know the Bach and the Handel and Vivaldi,” he said. “The French were not very interested in what most of what the rest of Europe was doing. They felt like their style of music suited them best and more importantly suited their language."

Prior to Sunday’s performance at the Chapel of the Incarnate Word is an informal pre-concert talk about the music.

“What I'm leaning toward talking about is this whole idea of this music that seems to be sacred, actually being music to glorify the king,” he said. “How and why, especially how Louie 14 used sacred music as a form of propaganda."

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org