Han­del with care

BBC Music Magazine - - Letters -

Like ev­ery­one who heard the penul­ti­mate BBC Prom con­cert – ★an­del’s Theodora

– I loved both the work and the per­for­mances. But I was re­minded of some­thing that of­ten strikes me. Please could singers (both solo and cho­rus) think to re­lease them­selves from singing with equal tem­per­a­ment? In early mu­sic, not all semi­tones need be equal. One of the things that causes us to be moved by mu­sic is the fluc­tu­a­tion of ten­sion and res­o­lu­tion. The Baroque com­posers were masters of that. They de­lib­er­ately linger on notes that are cre­at­ing ten­sion so that the re­lease is all the greater. The note cre­at­ing the ten­sion, if a semi­tone away from res­o­lu­tion, whether ris­ing or fall­ing, needs to be a small semi­tone. That would make so much dif­fer­ence to the live­li­ness and drama of the moment.

Jen­nifer Fowler, Lon­don

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