Friday, October 30, 2009

Better than working in McDonald's


Vivaldi's Cello Sonatas are among the great Baroque works for the cello. But it is surprising how many CD collections do not include these nine magnificent sonatas. No excuse now though, because Dutch budget specialist have just released two newly recorded CDs of the sonatas played quite winningly by early music specialist Jaap Ter Linden and captured in excellent sound in the warm acoustic of Hervormde Kerk, Rhoon, in the Netherlands. I paid £6.79 delivered for the two CDs from amazon.co.uk. Enough said?

Any opportunity to quote from the irrepressible Ron Butlin must not be missed. So here, from the title story of Vivaldi and the Number 3, is il Prete Rosso in training:
Over the caffè latte and panetto next morning Vivaldi remembered his strange dream, and had a good laugh. After a night like that he deserved a leisurely breakfast. He was late already, but so what? Becoming a junior-priest had never been his first choice - all that kneeling and standing, elevating the host and benedicting. His was a delicate constitution, a full-length mass often had him feeling pretty wrung out by the end, as well as a few kilos lighter from sweating under the holy vestements. But as the eldest son of a poor family - what were his options? He kept reminding himself it was better than working in McDonald's; and, at least, he wasn't expected to smile as he dished out the host and holy wine, or tell them to have a nice day.

Breakfast over, he stood up, brushed off the crumbs, donned the holy overalls, called goodbye to his mum and set off for San Giovanni's.

By the time he arrived, his twenty fellow-apprentices were standing in front of the altar, a chorus-line of swaying robes and bobbing hats, practising the day's routine. A priest was calling out, 'Father-Son-and-Holy-Ghost...Father-Son-and-Holy-Ghost...' Vivaldi slipped to the end of the line and, having caught the beat, joined in at making the sign of the cross.
Bach and modern new technology here, and more Brilliant Baroque bargains here.

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