I can’t quite believe another month has flown by, it only seems like last week that I wrote my February review! But March is already over, a hectic month for me with lots of work and not much play at all, the weather played tricks with blue sky and sun in the middle of the month and then returned to grey, foggy and cold. Here in the UK, it was Mothers Day and the clocks went forward during the last weekend of March, so at last, we have longer days and there was a bit of partying and making a fuss of my mum. Every day in March there were more and more things growing in the garden, bringing beautiful splashes of colour to the post-winter landscape and I managed to find a few welcome moments to crochet. It’s been tiring and busy, in a good, fulfilling way, but I’m glad March is over and a new month with a more relaxed feel is underway!
Happy Christmas! I hope everyone who reads and follows this blog has a wonderful day – it has to be a musical offering on Christmas Day, enjoy this energetic interpretation of this splendid chorus from Handel’s Messiah 🙂
A change of mood from the 1st excerpt from the Christmas Oratorio which I posted last week – in this music, the Pastoral Symphony, we’re transported out into the fields with the shepherds, who will soon be visited by the Angel Gabriel. The reed instruments imitate the shepherds’ pipes – those strange looking curly instruments are oboes da caccia, a baroque instrument which has a deep timbre similar to the cor anglais, and in front of them are 2 oboes d’amore, also slightly lower in timbre to the modern oboe. I love the gentle and yet uplifting character if this music; truly a masterpiece.
Bach’s Christmas Oratorio was written in 1734 when Bach was the Cantor of the Thomasschule at Thomaskirche in Leipzig. The piece was written with 6 sections, each to be performed on the major feast days during the 12 days of Christmas. This clip is the opening chorus, which would have been performed on Christmas morning. How wonderful it must have been to be in the congregation and hear this rousing, joyful music at its first playing – truly inspirational and celebrational.
Some Christmas music today, the Troika from the Suite from Lieutenant Kije by Prokofiev. A troika is a sleigh drawn by 3 horses and I think the piece captures the idea of being pulled along at full speed in a snowy landscape so vividly. ( I also like all the photos of Prokofiev in this clip – he was a smart chap!)