Music department features Polish/Austrian ensemble

Maddison Nelson | Contributor

II Giardino D’Amore was joined by USD’s very own, Dr. Pfau, during the performance. Photo Courtesy of Marianne Pfau

II Giardino D’Amore was joined by USD’s very own, Dr. Pfau, during the performance. Photo Courtesy of Marianne Pfau

Il Giardino D’Amore, a group of Baroque musicians supported by the German embassy in Washington D.C., performed AMOR ROMA: a show that centers itself around the infatuation Europe had with Rome during the 17th and 16th centuries. The group of young musicians that make up Il Giardino d’Amore were joined by harpsichordist Takae Ohnishi, who has an MM from New England Conservatory of Music and a DMA from Stony Brook University, and Marianne Pfau, Ph.D., on the oboe and recorder on the night of Sunday, Oct. 11.

All sorts of artists found themselves in love with Rome and the divine world of Arcadia, and thus established multiple Arcadian Academies across Europe. The music that flowed from its members concerned itself with the beauty of nature, pastoral life, and innocence, all ideas that Arcadians emphasized through their art.

The musicians of Il Giardino d’Amore gathered onstage, held their instruments at-the-ready, gave their attention to Stefan Plewniak, the musical leader and solo violinist, and with a single breath began to play vivacious chords that illuminated the stage.  The musicians helped set the scene as the stage filled the theatre with beaming light.

Senior Hayley Park attended the performance and was amazed by the group’s chemistry.

“I loved how they all connected as a consort and from the audience, I could tell they were having a great time making music together,” Park said.

Il Giardino d’Amore not only possessed skill, but character as well. Their body language and their skill convinced the audience that they were no longer sitting in a theatre in San Diego, but in a garden in Rome.

Plewinak’s presence surprised junior Taylor Cottle.

“The amount of character from the lead violinist was amazing,” Cottle said.

Pfau joined Il Giardino d’Amore for Sammartini’s “Concerto in F-major for Recorder and Orchestra” on recorder, and Bach’s “Double Concerto in C-minor” on the oboe. When she played both of her instruments, it was as if her fingers were made of magic, causing the oboe to create the loveliest of lightly sweeping sounds.

Pfau’s astounding skill inspired sophomore Chiara Sutton.

“The virtuoso quality of the recorder is what captivated me most. It was better than anything I’d heard on the Internet,” Sutton said.

Il Giardino d’Amore enraptured and transported their audience back to 18th century Rome, where the flowers within their pristine gardens were sweet and the music was even sweeter. The audience found themselves lost within their own AMOR ROMA.