GABRIELLA'S SONG by Candace Fleming
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Fleming (Madame Lagrande and Her So High, To the Sky, Uproarious Pompadour, 1996) celebrates music and its power to touch our lives. The setting is Venice, dazzlingly captured by Potter, in a palette of fresh colors and full of droll characterizations. Gabriella is walking home from the marketplace, and fashions from the flap of drying laundry, the jingle of coins, the ringing of church bells, and other sounds a little tune, which she hums at the baker's while buying a cannoli. The tune makes the baker's heart light, and he hums it, too. The widow Santucci stops in, hears the tune and becomes sad; nevertheless, she hums it on the way home, and the gondolier, overhearing her, plays it on the accordion. Thus the tune is passed throughout the city, evoking a variety of responses. To composer Giuseppe Del Pietro, who is experiencing a block just as a new symphony is due, the tune is heaven-sent, sweet music that he shapes into a great work of art. A disarmingly simple tale, this is inspiring and transporting.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 9867942213
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Atheneum