…but not impossible, hopefully.
The Greggiati library and the Comune di Ostiglia have organized a public meeting tomorrow evening, where I will be faced with one of the situations I thought existed only in job-interview simulations. “Pretend you have to explain to non academics why it is important to study music history.” Gosh. Can’t we talk about my dissertation instead? No. And, if anything, my present scenario is even worse.
My version of the question would be, “pretend you have to explain why a small town in Italy should spend tax-payer money to host students from the US who (with exceptions) barely speak Italian and have them study an old collection of musical scores. Is this study such a priority? And surely, there must be musicologists in Italy who could reach the town by train and not using three different flights??”
Well, that’s it, minus the “pretend” part! Gosh again? Perhaps. Though I think I have at least a few good answers. We’ll see tomorrow…
I know we still owe this blog a full report on the trip to Bologna, which was wonderful, but here are two pictures from today’s trip to Venice to illustrate the dangerous life of musicologists in the lagoon. Here we are inside St Mark’s with Prof. Marco Gemmani, the current Maestro di Cappella.
Here we are crossing the Canal Grande at Santa Maria del Giglio. More to come, hopefully, from the other authors.
We certainly did not expect to hear a high-level live performance of the music we are studying here, but we did. We were able to go to a remarkbable concert in Mantua last night thanks to the mayor of Ostiglia, Mr. Umberto Mazza, who secured ticket for us and drove us there. The choir, orchestra, and solos of the cathedral of Salzburg offered a very suggestive interpretation of Luigi Gatti’s Requiem Mass and Mozart’s Coronation Mass K317. Hearing such powerful music in this incredible church–a beautiful, beautiful Renaissance music box–was one of the highlights of our stay in Italy.
William Guerin and I have spent a few days working on the last-minute details. Here is a picture of him tampering with our cataloging system. We are happy with the hotel, comfortable and close to the Greggiati library, and all is ready to welcome the students, who will land tomorrow afternoon. Year two of the program leaving the station!!