I did something almost entirely unprecedented yesterday: I drove through campus at or below the official speed limit of 18 mph. This annoyed some people, but I did it for a good cause: I was listening to Kasarova sing a Handel aria, and I wanted to let her get to the end of it before I had to get out of the car.
This one is an old favorite of mine, but as I heard it again I was reminded of how perfect the tempo choice is here.
It’s about hope, but it’s a warm, solid and deeply felt hope – this is not an aria about irrational exuberance. This performance has just the right balance, I think, between pushing the lilt of the beat and giving the music space to unfold – I think it would be very easy to perform this aria too quickly, and that does not happen here.
You ever stop and think about which CDs are likely to cause you to start crying in, say, fifteen or twenty years when you’re feeling nostalgic? Not necessarily because of the content alone, but also because of the all the depth of association that repeated listening has added to them? This might be one for me – I’m not sure yet.