Gillian Keith Soprano
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Good Things Come To Those Who Wait
Good things come to those who wait. That old adage helped me a great deal over the past couple of years as I waited, sometimes patiently and sometimes impatiently, for the release of my latest CD, Handel German Arias, with the superb chamber ensemble, Florilegium. The disc augments Florilegium’s already impressive discography with Channel Classics, and although we have performed together many times, it is my first recording with the group.
I first encountered Handel’s Nine German Arias as a university student, and as it is for so many of us, the music or artistic experiences one has at that impressionable age are ones that can be most informative as we mature. They are reminders of our innocent, uncomplicated approach to the art, our naïve enthusiasm for the sounds and combinations of language, text, imagery and composition and the strong feelings of possibility and assurance as we bring certain pieces into our ears and our awareness. Something about these beautiful miniatures (to me they are gorgeous snapshots of the intricate yet decadent baroque soundscape that Handel would go on to govern) captured my heart, and I learned every word and every note of these arias by heart at the age of 20.
I have had a few occasions to perform these pieces over the years, however usually in groups of 3 or 4 to a programme, and I always had trouble choosing which ones I would do! But still knowing them by heart, they are often arias I sing when I’m not sure what else to practice or to use as a warm-up. They always cheer me up, and they always remind me why I love singing, especially baroque music. Bringing them off the shelf and back onto my music stand for this recording was like rereading my favourite childhood book or like travelling down an old, familiar road from my youth.
We actually made the CD in 2013, and various setbacks to do with release schedules, budgets, and other business considerations meant that our project was shifted into the slow lane and needed a break in the traffic to regain its momentum. An overflow of good ideas and a surge in Florilegium’s creativity caused a bottleneck at a main junction and our Handel arias were re-routed via a detour! There are a few dozen emails in my sent items titled ‘Handel CD release?’
But none of that seems to matter now that the project has come to fruition. Having the disc in my hands is another dream come true, another milestone on my path as a creative artist. For me this project, despite the long interval between hatching the idea with Florilegium, scheduling performance and recording dates, editing, and finally seeing the CD on my shelf was always a good thing, and as we know, good things come to those who wait.
See the publicity about our recording here and here and listen to samples on iTunes here.