A Musical Moment Profound music for contemplation This album begins in the world of the 'girl with a pearl earring' with lute music that she might have heard in the houses and artists' studios of Delft. Ludwig Senfl, the composer of the first track, was one of Northern Europe's most famous musicians. He sang in the Imperial chapel and, like so many musicians of the day, became involved in the religious controversy between Catholic and Protestant which raged at the time and which affected even Jan Vermeer, a Reformed Protestant who married into a Catholic family. He composed mainly choral music, but many of his works were arranged for other instruments, particularly the lute, thus allowing his calm and austere musical style to be played in the home. Peter Philips was also involved in the religious issues of the day, an Englishman who fled to Northern Europe and eventually to Italy. He was a prolific composer, although only a relatively small amount of keyboard music has survived. The 'Pavana dolorosa' is played here on a virginals, a small oblong keyboard instrument of the type which appears in many Dutch paintings of the period. Johann Sebastian Bach composed a sublime set of partitas for solo violin. A partita is a suite of dance movements, and the 'chaconne' from the D minor suite is one of his most famous works. The music unfolds gradually in a series of ever more elaborate patterns over a standardised chord sequence. Mozart and Beethoven were famous in their day as keyboard players, and they both wrote substantial amounts of piano music for publication during their lifetime. Both adagios heard here are sublime works: calm and reflective while retaining an inner luminosity and thus suited to Vermeer's style of painting. Mozart's 'Piano Concerto in D minor' is one of his best known. Calm outer sections regulate a more turbulent central development, as if any troubling thoughts which emerge from the initial calm are eventually resolved. Two more composers are represented on our album of calming music. Gabriel Fauré was a teacher and composer in Paris around a century ago. He often wrote music in deliberately 'antique' style, and his lovely 'Pavane' is his own tribute to the music of previous centuries. Mahler famously wrote lengthy symphonies which explored through music the full range of human emotion and thought with an intensity rarely equalled. The 'Adagietto' comes from the Fifth Symphony and is pure bliss in music.