Tuesday 30 June 2020

Cue Music

In times like these, I'm sure we all must feel the need from time to time to (in Patrick Kurp's words) 'address the charm, delight and wonder deficit'. For me, the shortest way to charm, delight and wonder is through music – a medium that can be put to programmatic and descriptive uses, but in its purest from is an end in itself; it is 'about' nothing else. As a result music communicates directly, without mediation, straight to the nerve ends, in a way that marks it out from other art forms.
I recently heard the track below on Radio 3, and it rooted me to the spot. A few days later, I held in my hands the album from which it is taken – The Sound of Light, pieces by Rameau played by Musica Aeterna under the wunderkind conductor Teodor Currentzis. I've been playing it repeatedly, and when you listen to this, the Entrée pour les Muses, les Zéphyrs, les Saisons, les Heures et les Arts from Les Boréades, I think you'll understand why. Here are charm, delight and wonder in concentrated form...


  1. A rough contemporary of Bach, this (to me) sounds far more 'modern' than anything by that great master which, even at its very best arrives, seemingly, with a thin layer of dust covering it. This sounds like fresh paint looks.

  2. Amazing, isn't it? I always thought of Rameau as pretty dusty till I heard this album. I wonder what Currentzis might make of the B minor Mass...?

  3. A good point Nige. Currentzis has this quest to blow the dust off almost everything he touches - you can sample it online with a truly ear-popping Marriage of Figaro. The overused phrase 'like hearing it for the first time' is, for once, completely valid.