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Archive for April 2, 2014

Observing Spring Holy Days

Lamb

[Passover and Easter] The Spring Equinox, which was March 20 this year, signals transition in many cultures. The Druids call it Alban Eilir, which means the light of the Earth. To Iranians and Zoroastrians it is called Nowruz—New Year’s Day according to the Persian calendar. Many Spring festivals throughout the northern hemisphere share common themes: rebirth, the egg, light, the lamb

In a Pastoral Mood

Pastoral

Certain professions don’t fire the imaginations of Classical composers: wheelwrights, stonemasons, potters, or lamplighters, for example. Sailors, on the other hand, speak to one’s wanderlust. Teachers and nursemaids show up in music about nurture—as do barkeeps. Shepherds evoke a sense of freedom

Period Instrument Primer

Luigi Boccherini cradling a Baroque cello with his calves

Today’s Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert welcomes three players who specialize in using period instruments (though prized instruments like the Stradivari were made in the 17th and 18th centuries, they’ve been rebuilt to modern specifications).