“Andante” is that it’s a musical term meaning a tempo that is basically a walking pace. I adopted that as the name for my music writing years ago because I liked the idea of approaching music at a walking pace.
Over the years I combined that approach with my love of travel and adventure writing to crystalize my approach to writing about music. The idea is that I write about music as one writes about the things they see on a walking tour when exploring and finding things the reader may not know about.
I’m taking this a step further now by initiating focused “walking tours” that focus on specific subject areas.
I’ve decided to make Hector Berlioz the subject of my first “walking tour”.
The reason for this is because he’s not as well-known as many other composers and I think that’s a shame. His work is fantastic and also important in music history: in some ways you wouldn’t have Wagner without Berlioz.
So I think Berlioz is a good subject for my first “walking tour”.
The way this will work is I’ll be posting things here, on Tumblr and on Twitter all using the #berliozwalkingtour hash tag. I’ve also created a YouTube playlist for the tour.
If anyone wants to join in, they can use the hashtags as well: the more the merrier.
The best place to find everything I post will be on Twitter, as all blog and Tumblr posts will be announced there, as well as the Twitter posts.
In closing, let me leave you with Berlioz’s Messe solennelle. Berlioz wrote this piece in 1824. It was performed only a couple of times after which Berlioz said he destroyed it. A copy was found in 1991 by a Belgian schoolteacher in an organ gallery in Antwerp.
Berlioz’s music has been catalogued by D(allas). Kern Holoman so his works are labelled with “H”. This work is H 20a.
Here is John Eliot Gardiner leading the work. This can be found on the Berlioz: The Complete Works collection.