Music runs in the family

Apr 12, 2013, 00:43 IST | Aanchal Kurmi

While the adage 'Three's a crowd' may be true, for the Bager Trio, it's all about harmoniously blending their diverse sounds to create Western Classical magic on stage

When it comes to music, The Poona Music Society seldom disappoints. And hence, after delighting the crowds with numerous classic acts from the world over, they are back with the Bager Trio — a classic act that is dedicated to classic Western music.

The trio consists of Jonathan Bager and his sons Frederic and Jeremy Bager. At the upcoming event, they will perform compositions by Beethoven, Bach, Reinecke and Donizetti. Quiz them about the driving force behind their act and Jonathan says, “It has always been about playing music as a family, being able to meet people and see new places. Performing for friends and an appreciative audience makes us feel that we are on the right track.”

The Bager Trio

Playing as a trio requires tremendous effort, as Jonathan informs, “It’s all about listening, responding to your fellow musicians’ gestures and phrasing, playing in time and in tune. But before you get to this stage there’s a lot of hard work, both individually and together, to put the basic elements in place.”

Among the trio, Jeremy has experimented with quite a few instruments. He started his journey with the cello, then turned to the viola and finally to the bassoon. “I never really felt at ease with a string instrument. It didn’t really feel a part of me. The bassoon suits me very well and it gives me a new speaking or singing voice,” he admits.

The lads feel that having a musician father has helped them in their career. “Keen interest on our part matched with the encouragement from our parents. Having opportunities to play together as a family also helped,” says Frederic.

Having performed worldwide has added something to their music. “Travel is good for the soul. Just the experience of communicating though a universal language without the need for a translator is such an enriching experience,” says Jonathon, who also admits that there is so much music available now on CD and the internet that they hardly need to travel to find them.

“We do occasionally listen to music other than Western Classical including Indian Classical sounds, Japanese songs and a bit of Jazz. But it must be said that Western Classical is our greatest passion. There is enough depth and variety to it to last several lifetimes.”

He is also all praise for Indian music. Since he is a flute player, he adores Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, “As a flute player I cannot but revere Hariprasad Chaurasia. His flexibility of tone, supple phrasing and variety is unsurpassed. We enjoy listening to Indian music. Its extended time span and melodic subtlety sets it apart from Western Classical music.”

He adds, “But it works better in concert than on CD. Ideally, you need to be present and in communication with the performers. I suppose you could say that for all music.”

Stay put for Frederic will play a couple of great classics for the piano, Jonathan will join him for a big romantic flute piece and there will be an opportunity to hear Jeremy on the bassoon, an instrument rarely played in India.

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