Monday, September 24, 2012

First Listen

La Bartoli is for me by now an old love. I often ask myself if it were merely a coincidence that she turned out to be the most remarkable musician of her time. Surely it must be. I've never been known for prescience.

She has an inordinate power over me and drags me around wherever she wants to go. Did I really want to be fascinated by Baroque Italians, I ask myself. I was pleased to read today that Sacrificium, one of my particular favorites, is in fact a public favorite as well. It spoke most directly to my heart.

And now I find that I am not at all dragged into the music of Agostino Steffani, that he represents my old friends of the middle Baroque--the period of old favorites like Biber and Purcell. We are none of us to blame that we have never listened to him. My heart is already right at home here. The period has a straightforward innocence that cannot be found in Bach, Handel and Vivaldi for all their genius.

Can it be that the artist only gets better? Once again she reinvents herself to suit the music. It will surely be remembered now that at a certain time in history music was Italian.

This review has been coming and going because it's a little more personal than I might prefer.  I've really enjoyed the rather excessive build up to this album release.  My copy should arrive in a week or so.  My sense of it is that it's very pleasing.

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