The Kansas City Baroque Consortium’s artistic director and cellist Trilla Ray-Carter explained before the concert that the theme, “Between Silence and Light,” came from the title of a book by architect Louis Kahn, who strove to achieve “the meeting between the measurable and the unmeasurable,” as he wrote. In that spirit, Carter programmed works ranging from the 17th Century dances of English composer Michael Praetorius to a world premiere of a new work by Liberty resident (but English-born) Ian Coleman.
The Baroque Consortium opened the concert with three movements from the Suite from Les Indes Galantes of Jean-Phillipe Rameau, composed in 1735. During his period, French operas typically contained ballets, and this particular ballet is from an opera Rameau composed in recollection of a trip to North American tribes in the New World, as they journeyed to pay homage to King Louis XV. The sprightly music showed Rameau’s usual French influence, but also displayed some surprising open-octave and open-fifth harmonies, the composer’s apparent attempt to portray the exotic nature of Native Americans. It strikingly reminded this listener of Shaker music from New England, which became well-known a century later.