Some of the holiest of religious holidays overlapped this year – the Jewish observance of Passover began one day after the Christian celebration of Palm Sunday and continues just past Easter Sunday. A lot of the music on Sunday Baroque is religious because the musicians in the baroque era often worked for the church, but our weekly musical gathering is ecumenical and inclusive. It’s a celebration of the MUSIC, and I hope each listener is nurtured and uplifted in a personal and meaningful way, whatever that may be.
This year’s overlapping holidays, and the inclusiveness of music, reminded me of a wonderful friend who died two years ago. He was raised in an observant Jewish family, and was an enthusiastic classical music lover. As his Bar Mitzvah celebration approached, his mother asked him for a list of gift ideas because family and friends were asking her. He dutifully made a list of mostly LPs he wanted for his growing collection. He was delighted to receive one of his most coveted items on that list as a Bar Mitzvah gift. It was a recording of George Frideric Handel’s oratorio MESSIAH! Music really is a universal language in so many ways.
Every week we celebrate music together on Sunday Baroque: profound music that often honors specific religious traditions, but also transcends them in its beauty and artistry. So whatever this season means to you — Passover or Easter or Spring or perhaps something else — HAPPY DAY!