Saturday, February 18, 2017


From Pompeii: The Afterlife of a Roman Town explores the fascinating variety of these different experiences, as described by the artists, writers, actors, and others who have toured the excavated site.
The erotic frescoes that appalled eighteenth-century viewers inspired Renoir to change the way he painted. For Freud, visiting Pompeii was as therapeutic as a session of psychoanalysis.
Crown Prince Hirohito, arriving in the Bay of Naples by battleship, found Pompeii interesting, but Vesuvius, to his eyes, was just an ugly version of Mount Fuji. Rowland treats readers to the distinctive, often quirky responses of visitors ranging from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Charles Dickens, and Mark Twain to Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


The compositions on this disc are all from Italy, and by Neapolitan composers. The oldest is Alessandro Scarlatti, and his setting features a strong connection between text and music. He makes use of chromaticism and Seufzer to express the text.
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi is best known for his Stabat mater which was not universally approved as some felt it was too operatic.
Leonardo Leo was one of the main composers of music for the theatre in Naples. That has left its mark in his settings of the Salve Regina which are performed here.