MUSIC OF THE BAROQUE: CLARITY (n).The quality or state of being clear: lucidity.
I am fortunate that I have the chance to perform the Baroque and Classical repertoire at an extremely high level. Music of the Baroque was founded by the astute Thomas Wikman, and continues with great leadership from Jane Glover and Nicholas Kraemer. I love the clarity and character of this period, plus the very challenging horn parts as they are often rather high in tessitura and very exposed. It is unusual to have multiple opportunities to play Bach’s B-Minor Mass, Brandenburg #2, obscure Handel orchestral works, plus Haydn and Mozart symphonies as most horn players feel lucky to have any contact with this repertoire during their careers. Music of the Baroque has taught me to be very particular with articulation. The need for clarity in boomy churches has pushed me to be extremely efficient in my playing, forcing me to create a clear and energetic sound in live acoustical spaces.
I have also been very influenced by my colleagues, trumpet players Charles Geyer and Barbara Butler. They were great models for me as I learned to articulate in this style, and I have molded this facet into my technique and use it in all genres. During my early years with Music of the Baroque, Tom would host a party after the Hyde Park concert-with great food and drink-and listen to a playback of the performance. It was a great learning opportunity to observe the cause and effect of sound, articulation and presence, and we would make adjustments for future performances. I found this to be a very useful process and doubt that I would have the understanding that I do today about the total package of sound, presence and articulation, without this group.