I think we all have a era of classical music that appeals to us the most. One where, if we were stuck on that Desert Island of radio fame, and were told that we could choose only music from one era, this would be what would choose.
For me? Baroque all the way baby. Bach, Handel, Vivaldi – quite apart from the quality of those three, there’s thousands of MP3 files right there without even thinking about other Baroque composers. Right from a young age I gravitated to the Baroque composers – both in instrumental music and in vocal. What would Christmas be without Messiah? (And my consequent discovery of Emma Kirby. Sshhhh, don’t tell my singing teacher).
Of all the works I studied at High School, what do I remember – and can pretty much sing all arias and choruses of without a score still? Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Which incidentally will stand me in good stead when the choir I belong to, A Capella Singers performs it next year.It wasn’t until recently that I discovered the delights of the Arie Antiche, mostly thanks to the CD of the same name by Cecilia Bartoli. Love her or hate her, she certainly immerses herself in the arias. Deceptively simple they are. (Sorry, channeling Yoda there). My favourite? It changes from week to week. Right now it’s Vivaldi’s ‘Sposa son disprezzata’ If I could do that last trill as softly as she does at that pitch I would be a very happy soprano.