If you love the religious passion of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods of Western music as much as I do, you are a lover of what’s called “Early Music.” And depending upon whom you talk to, the music of George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) is considered to fall at the tail end of the Early Music period. One of my favorite ballets, “L’Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato,” a creation of the modern choreographer Mark Morris, was set to Handel’s music. The juxtaposition of the oratorio sound with bright color and contemporary movement is astonishing. The old becomes new.
I’ve recently found two great resources that can educate you as an Early Music consumer, and assist you in deciding what to buy. Lord knows, there’s lots to study; it’s really a full-time job! Here’s an Early Music radio station that features all manner of lovely selections, and here’s a site I spied advertised in the book review of the New York Times last week. It has some free downloads, though you have to pay for others.