Telemann’s ode to music

Oh if only all the sciences
of men would be so good natured
as you are, the musical art!
Does one need you to honour God,
which is the more encouraging,
disinterested,
in the view of the Creator?
Shall Saul’s melancholy
also now afflict someone,
then he would be free through you.
Say to the jeerer, say it once:
what could move us to place pleasure and strength
no more in the music?

Extract from Telemann’s Cantata TWV 12:6 “Erklingt durch gedoppelt amnehmliche Töne”, Part II – Recitative (Soprano). This work is a Cantata in praise of music itself

Continue reading “Telemann’s ode to music”

What would Luther do next?

Choir BoysI have engaged to a new side project with the mission of helping a Lutheran church in England to reconfigure – and in due course, reimagine – how they embrace digital communications to better engage with their congregation and also to reach out to a wider targeted audience.

As I started researching their context and identifying think tanks and best practices for 21st century-tuned churches, some very interesting sources and voices kept my ideas busy for a long time. Continue reading “What would Luther do next?”

I have a certain love for Evensong

ChoirEvensongs are evening prayer services, so called in a reference to the latin ‘Vespers‘, which means ‘evening’. They are offered as part of the liturgy of the canonical hours by many churches including Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran.

While most of those churches will refer to their evening prayers as ‘Vespers’, the Anglican tradition refers to them as ‘Evensong’. The Anglican Evensong includes psalms and canticles, conducted following a set form with a choral delivery of the service.

If you are in the UK – living or perhaps visiting – you will find an evensong near you in this great website: www.choralevensong.org. You can browse by location or even post code and they will help you find options nearby. They will also help you learn more about evensongs, for example, understanding the various musical items you will find in a Choral Evensong service. Continue reading “I have a certain love for Evensong”

When Virtual Reality meets the orchestra

Welcome to the digital society of the 21st century. A society where any time, any where, at your fingertips, is increasingly and faster than ever, becoming the standard across industries, products, geographies and people.

It is no longer about millennials only – it is about our contemporary society and our everyday life across the globe. It is about mobility and convenience, as well as the consolidation of the smartphone era.

This new normal challenges the status quo as a whole – and the orchestras are no exception. Standing still is no option at all, and the way to the very survival involves a fair deal of innovation, strategy, technology and customer-centric attitude. It involves reimagining the possibilities and embracing new ways to conveying a message, to engaging with the audiences, to providing relevant and fulfilling experiences with music. Continue reading “When Virtual Reality meets the orchestra”

Music calling for action

In the words of the Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel, ‘with an instrument you own the world’. He is one of the many believers in music’s power to unite and inspire people regardless of any possible barrier they may face.

Music can help us tell compelling stories, engage armies, share complex ideas and feelings, motivate action, promote meaningful conversation. Music can reach and touch people far beyond the limits of spoken words – in fact, music is this universal language by which human links are made without the need to share any common language.

The use of music to help convey messages is not new, but it is always delightful to find out about new uses. Continue reading “Music calling for action”

The Long Journey Of Women To The Podium

Listening to one of my favourite radio programmes the other day – BBC Radio 3’s Music Matters – I was delighted to learn more about a fascinating history of Mrs. Sylvia Caduff, the world’s first maestra. So many achievements, so many milestones… it is a shame her name is not spoken and revered everywhere when we comes to great conductors!

Who would say she had to hide behind a window of a room where Mr. Herbert von Karajan was giving a masterclass to young conductors at Lucern Festival one day, only to approach him by the end of it and… secure a test! Her very first time conducting, no formal specific study at all prior to that occasion – apart from conducting via… the radio at home.

Later on, Mrs. Caduff had some specific study, and was Leonard Bernstein’s assistant at the New York Philharmonic. Continue reading “The Long Journey Of Women To The Podium”