By Alheri Egor-Egbe ’17
Mount Holyoke College’s Department of Music is set to thrill audiences in both individual and collaborative performances in the fall semester Baroque music concert.
The faculty concert, organized by Robert Eisenstein , director of the Five College Early Music Program , has been held every semester for decades. It will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 15, in Pratt Music Hall’s McCulloch Auditorium. It is free and open to the public, and the auditorium is wheelchair accessible.
In addition to presenting works by two luminaries of the Baroque period, Bach and Handel, the concert will feature southern Indian Karnatic works of the eighteenth century performed by guest artist Indira Viswanathan Peterson , Mount Holyoke’s David B. Truman Professor of Asian Studies. Peterson’s research on the court of Indian monarch Serfoji II explores the monarch’s large collection of Western music, along with Karnatic versions and adaptations, and includes pieces by Handel, which will be performed at the concert.
Performances will feature an array of eighteenth-century musical instruments, including the harpsichord, Baroque violin, viola da gamba, and Baroque flute. Linda Laderach , professor of music, will perform some movements to Bach’s A minor solo violin sonata. Adrianne Greenbaum , associate professor of flute, Larry Schipull , professor of music, and Eisenstein will perform their own arrangement of the Bach G major sonata for two flutes with gamba and flute, while Schipull, Laderach, and Eisenstein will perform the original version of one of the most intricate and challenging Bach ensemble sonatas. There will also be a performance of the Overture to Handel’s Samson, a piece from Serfoji’s library, as well as opera arias sung by Cheryl Cobb , lecturer in music. The program will conclude with Karnatic song and Karnatic versions of Western tunes, including “God Save the King,” sung by Peterson.
The concert will be both musically enjoyable and compelling for its intercultural appeal, Eisenstein said.
“We are performing music that I love and that we all really enjoy playing and singing together,” he said. “I perform a lot away from campus, but it is great to perform with colleagues for our students and friends.
“Aside from the masterpieces by two of our most wonderful Western composers, I’m really enjoying the intercultural aspects of this concert and working with Professor Peterson as well as my music department colleagues.”
Faculty will be available to speak with the audience after the concert, and some of the Baroque instruments used in the concert will be on view.
In a busy musical weekend, Greenbaum also will present a free concert of music for solo flute and piano. She will perform with pianist and MHC instructor Sandra Dennis at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 14, in Pratt Hall’s Warbeke Room.