Handel with care
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