Fleurs-de-LYS: from highbrow to hoe-down

~ posted by Sara Hessel, KMFA Music Director

Last weekend, I took a joy ride around the world in under two hours, and had lots of great company on the journey! Actually, I didn’t travel any farther than St. Michael’s Episcopal Church on Hwy. 360, but the music I heard left me feeling like I had smelled exotic flowers in Asia, danced the night away in Slovakia, watched a seductive scarf dance in Turkey, and enjoyed a rousing Central Texas hoe-down! (Oh, and Telemann was there, too!)

It was all part of a concert given by Fleurs-de-LYS- violinist Laurie Young Stevens and Friends, presenting Musica Globus, as part of Texas Early Music Project’s concert season. Laurie and her special guests put together a program which, despite being made up of dozens of short pieces from many different countries, meshed and flowed together beautifully. Interspersed with folk songs and dances of various lands were pieces by Georg Philipp Telemann that were inspired by the very same folk traditions. The result was a rollicking good time resulting in some serious pew-boogyin’ on the part of the audience!

Violinist Miloš Valent shared his formidable experience with the folk traditions of Eastern Europe, along with his staggering musical skills and his delightful, larger-than-life personality. Recorder player Paul Leenhouts was a joy to hear, as always! He dazzled the audience with his virtuosity, and kept us wondering which member of his musical menagerie we’d get to hear next! (Pungi been, anyone?)

As an encore, the group treated us to a rousing rendition of “Orange Blossom Special”, with Laurie showing her versatility—she’s a musician who is equally comfortable playing intricate Baroque sonatas as she is treating her audience to an impromptu Texas-style hoe-down!

On my way out of the concert I stopped to chat with a fellow audience member who mused: “What would Telemann have thought of this? I bet he would have liked it!” I agreed and added, “I bet he’d have wished he’d thought of it himself!”

Sara Hessel is KMFA’s Music Director, as well as producer and host of Ancient Voices. Tune in on Sundays, 9am and 4pm, to enjoy Ancient Voices, right here on KMFA, 89.5.

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