I was listening to this recording of Monteverdi coming home from the office today.
It is magnificent.
I found myself wondering why increasingly I find myself only listening to music composed before the end of the eighteenth century.
I have only a partial response.
First, I think is the balance between sacred and everyday (secular would be the wrong word). They interpenetrate in a way that allows both to be respected. Like carnival, it creates spaces where the known sacred can be held in suspension and the joy of everyday celebration can unfold.
Second, paradoxically, because the holy, both the hallowing of the everyday and the invitation to transcendence, is the ultimate reference point. Everything in the music is a signal of that transcendence.
Third, because though it is holy, it is sublimated passion. A desire that is earth informed by heaven.
Fourth because it has stillness at the heart. It takes emotional turbulence and gives it direction and hope.
I love it.