ITALIAN ODYSSEY: An Ear to the Wind by James Fassett

ITALIAN ODYSSEY: An Ear to the Wind

Email this review


Mr. Fassett, in search of ""le cose inconsuete"" (out of the way things) for his intermission broadcasts as background for the New York Philharmonic, spent a summer in Italy recording here and there what Sibelius called the ""patterned but spontaneous voices of nature."" They might be the local herald in a little village, or the sounds of Bach on a ""stalactiphone"" in a cave, or the doleful Sardo songs, or the ""delicate musical tinkling"" of the Trevi Fountain in Rome once the diurnal din was silenced. He travels from the primitive villages of the bottom of the boot up to Sicily, up to Rome and Florence via Tuscany, to Parma and Verdi country where the spinet on which Verdi played his first notes is perfectly preserved in a small church, to Bologna, the seat of eminent conservatories. There are other annotations to be sure--on history, on the landscape, on food and drink, on peoples and native festas, all in pastoral, purling prose. Much of the specification is faint and sentimental and unless you are attuned, you will have to pay attenzione.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1969
Publisher: Atheneum