Setting sun

Yesterday I bought a book called Year of Wonder: Classical Music to Enjoy Day by Day by Clemency Burton-Hill. Burton-Hell, a violinist and BBC Radio personality introduces readers to one short inspirational piece of classical music from various genres and periods every day, from Hildegard von Bingen to Bach, Philip Glass, and Duke Ellington.

I’ve learned to appreciate and enjoy classical music all by myself by simply listening and looking up pieces I’ve heard of (radio, movies, books, people recommendations). My music education is, well, scarce. The book seemed so accessible that I thought I’d give it a try and widen my repertoire, for instance, discover other composers than my beloved Bach, Mozart, and Marcello (Alessandro, not Benedetto). And the reward came minutes after opening the book in the form of Hildegard von Bingen, the twelfth-century theologian, composer, healer, artist, and Saint. I recognized her name, vaguely, as some early Christian saint or something. I had no idea of her music works or anything else for that matter. Most of her works were written about 1140-1160 – almost one unfathomable thousand years ago. I had O vis eternitatis (O power within Eternity) on repeat all evening and again this morning during my meditation.

There’s so much wonder out there, I thought. Much to explore and enjoy. I’ve added the book to my evening routine to read about and listen to one piece every evening. I’ve also created a playlist and plan to add the pieces that resonated most with me to it. Hildegard is at the top, of course.

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