Just as our tastes in clothes, holidays and food change as we get older, so do our preferences in music. Whilst classical music isn’t solely the premise for the retired, our appreciation for it does tend to come along around the same time as we prefer a visit to the garden centre rather than a night club, and prefer afternoon tea to a late supper (or the indigestion!). Personally, I’ve always felt that the world of classical music is almost a secret club and unless you really know your Verdi from your Vivaldi you really don’t have the credentials to join.
My first experience of classical music was when my first headmaster (a cruel disciplinarian) would play classical music as we marched into assembly each morning in silence. The composer and name of the piece of music would be written on a wipe board in red pen in the hall for a week. No one had a clue what it said and wouldn’t dare to ask. From then it was a world so weighted with history, foreign language and odd terminology that I stayed clear of it. No one wants to be the person at the pub quiz who mispronounces Eine Kleine Nachtmusik now do they.
In 1992 Classic FM started and with the development of digital radio rapidly became a mainstream station with over 5million weekly listeners. Since then, classical music has become accessible to all. Listeners can dip into the Hall of Fame hour each morning or dig much deeper into the history and lives of the greatest composers. I highly recommend Classic FM, whatever your age or situation. Sometimes an instrumental piece will take you away from the hustle and bustle of life just for a little.
The Hadleigh Choral Society will be performing Vivaldi’s Gloria, as part of their Autumn concert on Saturday 20 November at St Mary’s Church, Hadleigh. Antonio Lucio Vivaldi was born in 1678 in Venice. He became one of the greatest composers of the baroque style of music composing over 50 operas and influenced other great composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach. He moved to Vienna and died there in poverty in 1741. Like so many other famous composers, he would never know of his popularity and the joy and comfort that his music would give generation after generation, century after century.
The piece is made up of 12 movements, the first movement being most well-known – ‘Gloria, Gloria in excelsis deo’. The work is uplifting, joyful and a challenge for the choir and musicians performing.
I will be getting my tickets early as the concert is usually a sell-out. I am hoping the seats are comfy and the audience either side of me aren’t too fidgety so, for just a couple of hours, I can drift away without distraction. I hope to see you there too. Don’t worry if you don’t know your Bach from your Brahms or your Schubert from your Saint Saëns, your secret is safe with me.
Follow the choir on Facebook for information about tickets for the concert.