This hasn’t been the best of years for yours truly, such as and; worse, Kevin Rogers left us,, so too Paul Westcott,, both far too young.

To the future, hopefully 2024 will be bright and optimistic regarding our individual wishes, and also globally. Today is the Shortest Day, so we will soon be inching our way to longer less-depressing stretches of daylight.

And there’s music of course – the listening to it and, for those of us who scribe, the writing about it, although in my ‘fantasy conductor’ moments I would trade the pen, not for a sword, but a baton.

Even better, lasting friendships – so, to Column readers, and to my nearest and dearest, I send you all festive greetings. Final measures to J. S. Bach, whether Sheep or Desiring, to enter into January with Joy.

Colin x

ASMF/Neville Marriner.

From Bach’s Cantata 147; trans. Myra Hess.