I drove over to Oxford today to meet some friends and go shopping and was pleased to catch a glimpse of Christchurch as a friend of mine gave me the great news that he will be singing there from October 2005. This is excellent because he was extremely keen and he also has a fantastic voice. It also gives me yet another excuse to go to one of my favourite places now and then. I mean I'll HAVE to go and hear evensong sometimes now, won't I? In Richard's honour I purchased a CD of Christchurch College choir singing Vivaldi's Gloria which is now resounding throughout the downstairs.
Yet it's not only the whole university thing with Oxford (I have no connections myself with that institution) I just lvoe the busy rush of the place and the fact that I have no duties there. I've spent time on retreat in Oxford and often go there for a day when I need to do a load of forward planning (using my "Oxford Office" as Ian calls the Coffee Republic!) without any distractions from emails and MSN.
Of course the added bonus of some amazing book shops for the occasional resource is a pleasant distraction not to mention the other fabulous shops. I was very good today and was tempted only by the sale at HMV and even there I was restrained and only bought two CDs, the aforementioned Vivaldi and Adiemus, Sanctuary.
It's a curious thing. I bought two "classical" CDs which is not entirely within character but recently I have been listening to Classic FM as I've driven (rather a lot) through the English winter countryside to visit friends. When I looked at my CD collection, however, I discovered that much of what I enjoyed hearing on the radio doesn't feature at all so I decided to begin a campaign of rectifying that a litte. I know that in fact I used to have more classical CDs but some which I had gathered during my university years got subsumed into my Dad's collection when I was living at home and a few are still there (including a much-missed Hildegarde von Bingen collection!). I retrieved the Vaughan-Williams last year as I just COULDN'T live without that one but I don't really have the heart to repurloin the others.
So if I'm seeking to rebuild a collection of classical music on CD what else do I need? Suggestions anyone?