Tis a strange kind of igno’rance this in you!
That you your victories should not spy,
Victories gotten by your eye.
That your bright beams, as those of comets do,
Should kill, and know not how, nor who.
from ‘The Innocent Ill’
a poem by Abraham Crowley (1618-1667),
put to music by Pietro Reggio (1632-1685).
His fingers found their tension and touch, rolling an introduction into a breathless pulse, smeared arpeggios giving pause as a singer came into the light and performance, carrying a lute and lovely tune. The lyrics were in English though his intonation was not, his voice giving him beauty he never had and youthfulness that denied his graying face. His eyes were downcast, his mouth wet and a little whiskered, his wandering back and forth courting romantic notions he seemed too reserved to pursue.
Music came down from the gallery too, in the long shimmering phrases of viols, treble and bass, sublime and subdued, individual but uncompetitive in contrast and counterpoint, the pulse of their playing like inhaling and exhaling. Certainly Donatella breathed easier, unfolding her hands and closing her eyes, almost unconscious of where she was though she did realize her mother softly humming a harmony all her own.
The viols were slowly persuasive, the audience surrendering to their calm and melancholy, even Albrici joining the passive resistance to more sound than expression. It seemed their victory was imminent, that they had conquered the field and could continue unguarded, but without more power were suddenly unable to hold off the invasion of a single violin.
It irrevocably broke the consort, twisting and turning and working itself into a manic mastery, its bow slashing so every listening heart bled. Sudden remorse was just part of the act but affecting all the same, nothing but pretension wrong with its performance, not a sound that wasn’t beautiful despite its arrogance, such difficulty created and brilliantly overcome.
Copyright © 2011 by DM Denton
All Rights Reserved
Writing note: The excerpt above is from my work-in-progress novel, ‘She Shall Have Music”, sequel to the completed (not yet published) ‘A House Near Luccoli’©.
Please check out my previous Musing Music post.
©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.