I recently watched a television program on PBS where a violinist went in search of how to interpret Bach's Violin concerti and partitas. He had been avoiding playing Bach in his performance repertoire because he felt that he just did not understand Bach's music well enough to give it the right interpretation. So, he decided to go to Germany to immerse himself in the places, history and culture of Bach's time to help him understand the "riddle" of Johann Sebastian Bach.
What the Violinist in the documentary did was go to visit and learn from Bach scholars working in the towns, palaces and churches where Bach's influence has been passed down from generation to generation for nearly 300 years. He learned, for example, that Bach enjoyed the melodies and violin virtuosity of Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741). He also learned that Bach wrote a lot of music for Court dancing -- the style of dancing made popular by the French King Louis XIV and had spread all over Europe during the Baroque Period. After learning about these influences and hearing and seeing examples demonstrated, the Violinist finally felt that he knew enough background details to channel the spirit of Bach into his own performances of Bach's works.
We owe a great debt to scholars who make it their life's work to document, record, and otherwise keep alive the works and interpretations of great masterpieces of the past. So until some scholar makes it his life's work to document how to interpret my music, I will continue to try to strike a balance between "enough but not too much explanation" notation in my own musical scores. I will say that I am delighted that "Ring! Glad Christmas Bells" which definitely possesses a bit of Baroque panache, has been rather popular this Christmas musical season. I am happy that especially the flute quartet version will be performed in many far-flung places in Europe and Australia as well as in Northern America. Hope my notations leave room for some personal interpretation but include enough to breathe life into the work.