At some point before I was a teenager, I realized that music spoke to me. At first the experience was much like listening to my mother talk with her 2 sisters in what I came to know was ‘Platte Deutsch’ or ‘low German’. I knew that they communicated easily and understood each other in a language which I had not yet learned but could sense through inflexions and intensity. As I learned to listen to music, as I did to ‘low German’ I began to understand first the general shape of the language and then the depth of meaning communicated through sound. Later I was told that the music which spoke to me most immediately was ‘classical music’. Soon after that discovery and its spinning hurdle of separation from my friends and even family, I became awkwardly fluent !!! in Baroque Music. The first LP records I bought were GF Handel and the first concert music I sang in the Pembroke Community Choir included Vivaldi’s Gloria. I was lost – and found a place as an eager student and interpreter of music. I was introduced to the Classical period and indeed it feels as if Mozart does ‘take me by the hand and show me his thoughts’. Haydn watches over me to make sure that form is never abandoned to decorative effect. But the composers of the Baroque continue to show me their creativity in colouring outside the lines and thereby searing new lines in which to express themselves.
Music from the Italian Baroque radiates melodies, harmony and rhythm into sound as the sun shines through dark clouds. Its harmonies provide sonorous depths and soaring arcs of yearning over which are laid pulsing rhythms contrasted by melodies of dancing joy and optimism.