As the reader shall see, it is the spirit of music that has concerned us most. In our efforts to discern it, we have discovered many treasures. The purpose of this book is to share them, to entice you to listen – because beauty is contagious. In his book, Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven, English conductor John Eliot Gardiner writes that experiencing Bach’s masterpieces “is a way of fully realizing the scale and scope of what it is to be human”. The reader may be surprised by how many works of the twentieth century and our own time of which this is also true. We try to describe them as best we can, acknowledging the while the truth of what Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe (ca. 1640–1700) purportedly said: “Music exists to say things that words cannot”.
In Bob Reilly’s “listener’s guide to the recovery of modern music”, Surprised by Beauty, his chapter on Martinů has always been a favorite. It endeared and properly introduced a composer to me whom I had wanted to get to know but hadn’t gotten a personal introduction to, yet. I can’t say that it was love-at-first … More Surprised by Beauty CD: A Bouquet Of Flowers From Bohuslav Martinů