Cicero wrote that there were three apparent goals which an orator must aspire to achieve in speaking: to instruct, to please, and to move the passions.
What you will listen to this evening comes from a time when two media were inextricably linked. Inspired by the writings of Cicero and Quintillian, musicians strived to model music from speech itself. Within decades their dialects had helped develop national musical styles. Since, of course, the swan cannot sing as the nightingale, his song will be his own.
This special link is of great benefit to my peers and I, as we all speak and can use our understanding of the voice, and its proper use, to direct us to better comprehend the mechanics of our calling. Unfortunately, though we musicians use speech to transmit, we rarely use it as a source of comparison.
Thoughts and inspiration manifest in us through language and the passions which composers hoped to invoke in their audiences were definable. Unlike the music of later generations, this evening's entertainment is a true attempt at communication with its audience.
I hope that this evening sees you informed, pleased, and moved.
Je vous souhaite un bon concert.