'You know that the success of all religions lies in their mysteries. Once everything has been explained didactically, there are no longer any mysteries, and therefore no reason to return' -Salvador DaliO Magnum Mysterium (O Great Mystery) is a responsorial chant from the Matins of Christmas that has been set by composers ranging from William Byrd to Morten Lauridsen. My header photo was taken a few weeks ago from the tiny village of Suzette in Provence. Le Barroux is in the foreground and the Gregorian chant from the two monasteries there featured in posts several times this year. In the background is Mont Ventoux and Petrarch wrote about his ascent of the mountain in 1336 in one of his Epistolae familiares. Franz Liszt, a composer we will be hearing often in 2011, set three of Petrarch's Sonnets in his Années de pèlerinage. The elusive Laura prompted Petrarch to give up the priesthood and inspired some of his most celebrated poetry. Petrarch first sighted Laura at the church of Sainte-Claire in Avignon, which is a few yards from where my December Chance Music programme with Jeff Harrington was recorded. Savador Dali contributed my header quote and also provided one of the year's most rewarding overgrown paths. Musical discoveries made writing the Overgrown Path particularly rewarding in 2010. For alternative Christmas listening and new discoveries try my two hour World of Music special. This includes, among other delights, a track from Titi Robin who supplied my CD of the year. The playlist is here, listen to the podcast here.
A very Happy Christmas to all my readers.
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