But what dreams!
Is there anything better than falling asleep to the sound of classical music? Well, lots of things, obviously – the sun, the sun is better, what with sustaining life on Earth. Also, a really good pair of pants. That woman over there, she’s better. And a well made cake, neither too dry nor too moist. Better. Much better.
But leaving such things aside, falling asleep to classical music is better than just about anything. I have fallen asleep to the best of them – Beethoven, Brahms, Percy Grainger. For years I didn’t realise that Mahler wrote whole symphonies – I though he only wrote a few bars hinting at something grand. And did you know Schubert’s Winterreise is an actual song cycle?
One compser I didn’t expect to fall asleep to is Handel. Bombast and somnabulism are strange bedfellows, which might just be the greatest sentence I have ever written. He tends to be loud, does Handel, so I embarked on these Concerti with every confidence of getting from one end to the other without recourse to dreams. And yet… And yet…
I have now tried to listen to this set four times, and ech time I have dropped into the deepest of slumbers. Sure, I have tended to try and listen at the end of the night, tucked up in bed in my pjs, a toasty hot water bottle warming my feet, my sleeping cap on, my last brandy drunk, eyes closed with my head resting on my downy downy pillow, a string of spent lovers aranged louchely around my bed chamber. But still…
Which is not to say that the music is dull – on the contrary, it sparkles with effervescent energy. It is truly exciting music, and leads to truly exciting dreams. Usually involving pomp, often involving ceremony. Last night I was on a barge going down the Thames being feted by foreign dignitaries, tonight I want nothing less than a trip to the moon! Thank you Handel, thank you classical music! Thank you, the human brain!