Sunday, July 5, 2015

Benedetto Marcello's Requiem & Weekly Roundup of Posts

Benedetto Marcello
     Today at Mass our music director brought along a trumpet player, who played an interesting piece by a composer named Benedetto Marcello, with whom I was unfamiliar.  After I returned home I was looking at a clip from Johann Christian Bach's Requiem (the opening of which I posted last week), when I noticed a recommended link to a Requiem by this same Benedetto Marcello. I decided it was time to learn something about this composer.
     Marcello was a Venetian who lived from 1686-1739.  A trained composer, his first love was music, but he was also a nobleman whose family expected him to take on a life of public service. Throughout his life he had to find time for composition while serving various positions in the Venetian government.  He also faced frustration in his personal life: he fell in love and married one of his students, Rosanna Scalfi but, because she was a commoner and legally ineligible to marry the noble Marcello, they wed secretly, and after the composer's death the marriage was voided by the authorities.  Their relationship did, however, provide material for an opera called (naturally) Benedetto Marcello by the composer Joachim Raff.
     The clip below is the haunting opening to Benedetto Marcello's Requiem,  one of the nine Masses he composed.  While you listen, feel free to peruse the links below to past week's posts at Principium et Finis; who knows? you might find something worth reading . . .

Weekly Roundup, July 5th 2015

It was a busy week, for the summertime at least, at Principium et Finis: there was something old, something new, nothing borrowed (except a few pithy quotes from minds greater than mine, all properly attributed), and I must confess that I was a little blue about the state of the culture.  A theme common to a number of the posts below is the sad course a society will follow when it turns its back on God.  The Good News, of course, is that Jesus Christ will triumph in the end, and would be happy to have us along . . . if we’re willing to follow, that is.

Tuesday - “On Being A Child Of This Age” We start with Chesterton’s famous observation that the Catholic Church “is the only thing that frees a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age”, and man, what an age . . . [here

Wednesday - “Feed My Sheep (Worth Revisiting)” In which we see, first, that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing (when I attempt to apply my modest Greek skills a passage from John’s Gospel), but more importantly just how far Jesus is willing to go in order to give us a chance to repent [here

Thursday - “Archangels, Morality, St. Jerome, & God’s Law” This post combines the themes of the first two: God is speaking to us in a variety of ways, but we desperately want to believe that we can ignore him and still have everything turn out all right.  Guess who’s right? [here

and -  “St. Monegundis Is An Example Of God’s Loving Providence” None of Monegundis’ plans worked out; fortunately, she listened to the plan God had for her.  That’s why we call her “Saint.”  [here

Saturday - “July 4th: An Experiment In Freedom Under God” The First of two Independence Day posts.  In this one we look at what George Washington had to say about the importance of religion and morality in a free society, and see why we are unwise to ignore his advice. [here

and - “‘Appealing To The Supreme Judge Of The World’ – July 4th A revision of a post from last year about the Declaration of Independence.  The Declaration asserts that “the protection of Divine Providence” is extended to citizens, not governments.  Without that protection, however, free citizens can’t hope to remain free from the power of the state. [here


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