Glagolitic Planets

Next up on the classical shelf is a pair of cds of Gustav Holst. His big hit: The Planets is an lp to cd transfer. To be honest I have this because it is so well regarded. It’s not one of those classical pieces that keeps me coming back. Stately & slightly pompous but not unpleasant either. It is one of those classical pieces that gets referenced in the British prog rock of the Moody Blues, ELP. I also have the Tomita electronic rendering which is fun.

I also have a collection of Holst’s orchestral & choral work. Some are impressionistic like St Paul’s Suite. The Six Choruses for male voices is pleasant as well. Sweetly melodic he never reaches the sweep of Vaughn Williams but comes close with A Fugal Concerto. Easy listening classical music.

Following him on the shelf is Leoš Janáček: Glagolitic Mass. How I got this cd is perhaps more interesting than the music itself. One afternoon in May 1998 (I know the date because it is written inside the cd cover) I was sitting at the coffee shop on Carlton Street at the front of the Holiday Inn with a friend. A guy is running along the street going through a gym bag of stuff. He pulls out a CD zip case.  Glances at them & tosses the case away. Then disappears up the street.

My buddy goes out & rescues the case. There is a mix of pop & classical in it. Most of the cd cases are empty but the Mass is there. My buddy the carry case & I keep the Mass. Partly because I’d never heard of Janáček, & Glagolitic has such a resonant strangeness as a word. It turns out that Glagolitic is the oldest known Slavic script. The mass is somber, elegant and soothing.

Question

‘Is there anything else?’

‘No. Your references are all in order. Some of the best we’ve seen here is some time, I might add.’

‘Thank you. It would be a great opportunity for me to work here at Pumpkin Corners Retirement Home.’

‘Opportunity?’

‘Working with children all my life I sometimes miss the opportunity to be with adults. You know what I mean?’

‘Yes. I think I understand.’ Mr. Simpson patted the employment forms on his desk. ‘I do have several other applicants and  a few more to interview. So Miss ….’

‘Mrs.’

‘Oh? You are married. I didn’t see that on your application.’

‘So many years ago I often forget till I’m called Miss. Makes me sound so much younger than I am doesn’t it.’

‘Yes.’

‘He left me. Quite suddenly. Went to work one morning and never came back. Never made it to the office either. Just gone like that. Makes a person wonder doesn’t it? ’

‘How long ago was that?’ Mr. Simpson couldn’t take his eyes off her fingers as they toyed with her wedding band.

‘I’ve never been able to get it off. I stopped trying and only remember it now when someone … when the question of marriage comes up.’

‘Yes. Life is full of these odd events.’

‘Not mine Mr. Simpson. I’ve seen to it that my life remains orderly and calm. No more of that for me. Police and the not knowing. But I hope that won’t effect your consideration of me for this position.’

‘I’m sure it won’t.’ He stood and reached across the desk to shake her hand. She remained seated. He walked over to the door. ‘So if you don’t mind I do have another applicant waiting outside now.’

She stood. ‘Thank you once again for this opportunity. I know you’ll find me the perfect choice.’

The outer office was empty. His secretary was not at her desk.

‘Your other applicant seems to have disappeared.’

‘Not to worry.’ The woman’s smile gave Mr Simpson a small shudder. ‘My secretary will locate her once she gets back from lunch.’

‘I’ll await your call.’

Mr Simpson went back to his office and began to go through the other applications. They were now all blanks.

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March 8, Thursday – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Workshop: 4 pm at Glad Day with D’Scribe.

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