Year of Wonder – January

Here's a recommendation for those who are new to classical music, as well as those who are well-versed in the classical tradition. Find a copy of Year of Wonder by Clemency Burton-Hill and then plan to spend the next year exploring what Leonard Bernstein called the "infinite variety" of classical music. Burton-Hill, has assembled descriptions of a single piece of classical music for each day of the year. Reading what she has written and listening to the pieces she describes takes about 10 minutes a day, 15 minutes at the most.

It's now January 21, and I have almost completed my first month of my "Year of Wonder." In less than a month, Burton-Hill's list has already enriched my life with what I'm beginning to describe as my daily meditation through music. Burton-Hill has also introduced me to a few terrific pieces of music I had never heard (Hildegard's "O Virtus Sapientiae" and Kapsberger's
"Toccata L'Arpeggiata," for example).

I have made it my resolution for 2019 to listen to all the music in Burton-Hill’s book. Although I am somewhat knowledgable about classical music, I also know I have much to learn, and Burton-Hill's book has been a godsend.

If you would like to join me in my resolution, I’ll be publishing Spotify playlists created from Burton-Hill's book on this blog for each month of 2019. Stay tuned, and enjoy!

“I am determined … to extend a hand to those who feel that the world of classical music is a party to which they haven’t been invited.” – Clemency Burton-Hill

Spotify Playlist for JANUARY of the Year of Wonder




Hildegard of Bingen, "O Virtus Sapientiae" (12th century)
Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra


Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger, "Toccata L'Arpeggiata" (17th century)
Christina Pluhar, theorbo
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