Shielding Against the Dark Forces with Bach

Optimism. © Charles Thibo

A few weeks ago, I was greeted at the office by a colleague with the words: “You’re beaming, what’s wrong?” I laughed and said: “I always radiate joy when I enter this building!” Bursts of laughter as we both knew this was a lie. Nevertheless, jokes aside, I usually start every day in an optimistic and joyful mood. I like to get up, to greet my family, the cat, the sun and our garden, and while I drive to the office, listening to classical music gives me a sense of peace, of happiness. When I am at the office, I go about my work feeling good. After so many years, I am still an interested and dedicated team member. Strange, isn’t it, when so many people complain so much about so many things?

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Alessandro, a Superb Baroque Opera by Händel

Alexander depicted on a Roman mosaic.

Alexander the Great – born 356 BC, Pella (Macedonia), died 323 BC, Babylon, king of Macedonia. He overthrew the Persian empire, marched with his army up to the border of India and laid the foundations for the Hellenistic world of territorial kingdoms. Alessandro (HWV 21) – opera composed by Georg Friederich Händel in 1726 for the Royal Academy of Music. Paolo Rolli’s libretto is based on the story of Ortensio Mauro’s La superbia d’Alessandro. This was the first time the famous singers Faustina Bordoni and Francesca Cuzzoni appeared together in one of Händel’s operas.

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Time to Compose, Time to Rejoice

Early joy. © Charles Thibo

The first bars already make me feel happy and joyful. There is nothing like a keyboard concerto from the pen of Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach to start a morning. This particular piece, the Keyboard Concerto in E Major (Wq. 14/H. 417), has a particular dynamic that fills me with energy, joy and hope, no matter how grey the day might be. But when I felt inspired to write about it, it was a clear, frosty morning, the sun still hiding behind the horizon, while the blue sky already announced a beautiful day.

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There’s Nothing Wrong with Entertainment!


Texture. © Charles Thibo

Almost three years have passed since I introduced the Baroque composer Franz Xaver Richter to the readers of the blog and I am awfully sorry for not having followed up on the man and his delightful music. As I wrote in a post on Richter’s Seven Quartets (op. 5), his most remarkable contributions to music  are his works for chamber music and his liturgical compositions. However, in the early phase of his career, he composed no less than 70 symphonic works, and today’s post will be about his Sinfonia in B-flat Major (VB 59), recorded by Capricornus Consort Basel.

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