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Sunday, April 03, 2011

Double-Edged Sword



A bunch of Eastern Europeans play music from a Venetian in a Portuguese Church. Tomaso Albinoni. We don't know much about Tommy. He didn't seem to need a gig, wrote what he pleased, and didn't hang out with the baroque music set enough to develop a personality cult. I like that a "posthumous" collection of some of his work was published in France eleven years before he actually died. Gotta like a guy that skipped the eighteenth century version of Facebook and LinkedIn that thoroughly.

What little we do know was made less by the bombing of Dresden in World War II. Ashes, ashes, we all fall down is tough on libraries. According to the fellow that has the most to gain from lying about it, a mere scrap of this work was sent to him, charred, from the Dresden State library, and he took said fragment and wrote the rest of it. The eye notices that when it was in his interest to say Albinoni wrote it, he said Albinoni wrote it, and when it wasn't, he didn't, and moves on.

The church is Igregja da Misericordia of Aveiro. A misericord is like a shelf in a church for your butt, placed so you can lean on it and remain standing throughout a long service; a "mercy seat." A misericorde is a sort of stiletto, used to give a death stab, a "mercy strike" to a wounded knight on the ground.

You have to take your mercy where you find it in this world.

8 comments:

Casey Klahn said...

So, when my mother used to say "that was better than a jab in the (captain's quarters) with a sharp stick," she was really making an astute kind of alliterative pun.

I don't think she was, though I do find your take apart of misericord/misericorde the exact kind of fun I come here for. Awesome.

It doesn't hurt me to learn something about music, either.

misterarthur said...

My American (1) wife once sang along to a Video Karaoke (Japanese (2) version of "Blue Bayou" in a Chinese (3) Restaurant in Canada (4). The video featured a pair of Japanese (5) lovers, walking around Geneva, Switzerland. (6) Low brow multi-culti.

Tom L said...

This old warhorse usually puts me to sleep. But this performance is revelatory.

And how dare you question the authority of Wikipedia? The truth is determined by whoever gets there last.

You must have some kind of magic Youtube filter to keep pulling these gems out of the dreck.

Andy said...

Tom - I could use help from Wikipedia. I always get everywhere last, and nobody believes me when I get there. Maybe if I was on the internet, my credibility would rise. That can't be right.

I made some undoubtedly horrid poem that invoked Albinoni's name back in high school. I'll have to try to dig it up.

SippicanCottage said...

Hi Casey- Thanks as always for reading and commenting.

Hi Arthur- We used to tell a terrible joke in our old Happy Hour act about Blue Bayou.

Hi Tom- Thanks for reading and commenting. I can't disagree that it's an "old warhorse." It's fairly common to hear it at our house. The movies got ahold of it a while ago and it pops up here and there.

I've learned that what's common for one person can be much less so for many others. I am gratified that you noticed that I did poke around quite a bit to find an interesting version of the piece.

Hi Andy- We like horrible poems, so I hope you find it. The mind reels at the obvious rhymes for Albinoni.

Perfidious Albinoni
Was eating bologna
Seated a pianoforte
Then he wet his pants
And started to dance
Like a medicine man Shoshone

Andy said...

A chef with knife and hammer
Had just come from the slammer
With mollusks on his mind.
He stepped right up to Albinoni,
Said, while slapping an abalone:
"It chews like your Cantata Number Nine."

Jewel said...

I think your Legion of Rock Stars plays a number of misericords...or are they just miserable chords. I forget which.

Thud said...

A misericorde was also part of a monastery where the rules on eating meat could be relaxed....St.mickey d's perhaps?