Chilly Sunday Morning

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Mass in C Minor (“Grosse Messe“) performed by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Bernstein is the stimulating ecclesiastical background to this morning’s gratifying breakfast of crisp green apple slices, creamy Suisse Normande ripened cheese on a toasted “Everything” baguette bagel and double-thick bacon. The music is the reward for our earlier brave and decidedly unique venture on bicycles along Country Street and back around the subdivision, in all 8.53 km over a space of 1 hour and 5 minutes. The temperature was about -10°C and a wind NW 14 km/hr. What better way to stoke an appetite and legitimize the indulgence of fat! Perhaps a smattering of maple butter too!

Great Mass in C minor (German: Große Messe in c-Moll), K. 427/417a, is the common name of the musical setting of the mass by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and considered one of his greatest works. He composed it in Vienna in 1782 and 1783 after his marriage when he moved to Vienna from Salzburg. This large-scale work, a missa solemnis, is scored for two soprano soloists, a tenor and a bass, double chorus and large orchestra. It remained unfinished, missing large portions of the Credo and the complete Agnus Dei.

We haven’t yet escaped the cruel winter weather – though the forecast for the next week is for above zero temperatures or very close thereto, even as high as 11°C (51.8°F) on Thursday next. No matter. We’re currently doing all we can usefully do in any event apart from frequenting our favourite outdoor cafe in the Village of Burnstown and sitting on the deck of my erstwhile physician overlooking the pool and surrounding meadow. I have no doubt the weather – if not the circumstances – will soon alter, restoring both faith and ambition. I confess the pandemic has quelled my former retail habits in that I now willingly consider on-line shopping as a welcome alternative, a switch which quite frankly is in no small measure enhanced by the precipitous decline in my ability to walk painlessly. Such is old age, one of the numerous penalties one is obliged to endure in exchange for the other advantages – like doing whatever else I want, whenever!

The pandemic has most certainly changed the way things look.  For example, on a normal weekday one expects to see a lot of traffic.  No longer.  At times when I head into the city to perform my daily automotive ablutions there is but a sparse collection of other cars. Today – a Sunday – there were as usual very few cars or people about, especially when we were bicycling only minutes after eight o’clock in the morning. But even an hour later there was but one lone pedestrian “bent into the irreligious wind” barely capable of making a salutation to interrupt the concealed warmth of her camouflaging parka.

I’ve cranked up the heat in the apartment while I succumb in my red leather chair to the allure of fatigue after my bicycling and breakfast. Mozart is now but a distant hum. The bright sunshine forces me to dim my eyes. I recall our French bulldog Monroe.