Monthly Archives: December 2015

Story & Song: Part 5

Welcome to the fifth installment of my blog series that I’m calling Story & Song. Each post will feature two pieces of music: a modern/contemporary song from the playlist of The Violinist of Venice, and a piece of Vivaldi’s music that features in the novel. I’ll describe how both pieces fit into the story with a minimum of spoilers!

For Part 5 of Story & Song, I’ll be featuring a song that was very important in the writing of the book.

Lacuna Coil – “End of Time”

This is one of my favorite songs of all time, and one that really worked its way into The Violinist of Venice. As soon as I heard this song – on my first listen to Lacuna Coil’s 2012 album Dark Adrenaline – I knew that it perfectly fit the relationship between Adriana and Vivaldi: painful, bittersweet, and full of the knowledge that the end would come soon. This particular song, though, had a direct impact on the book. As I was working on draft two and making revisions to the original draft, one night I was listening to this song as I went over a particular scene. Because of this song, what was originally a lighthearted moment became heartbreaking and raw and real. The scene took a complete left-hand turn on me, and changed somewhat the tenor of things that needed to come after. It was inconvenient initially, but what I realized was this song helped me to see what that scene should have been all along. To this day that is one of my favorite scenes in the novel.

Stabat Mater – Movement 1

This is one of the vocal pieces featured in the novel that I’ve actually performed myself. This is honestly one of my favorite pieces that I’ve ever sung; it’s so beautiful and just felt so effortless to sing. I had to include it in the novel, as I came across it in my research and fell in love with it (and tracked down the sheet music as well!)

In the novel, Adriana hears this piece while attending Mass at the Pieta in chapter 53, and it affects her very profoundly. It also, in a roundabout way, leads to us learning something new about Adriana, though of course I won’t say here what that is!


An Ode to Venice: Santa Maria della Salute

In my An Ode to Venice series, I’ll be posting pictures and information about my favorite places in Venice, including those that figure into The Violinist of Venice.

For my fourth An Ode to Venice post, I’ll be talking about one of Venice’s many landmarks, the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.

Italy 2013 180 DSC01084

I mentioned the Salute in my post about the Grand Canal and the Accademia Bridge – it is the massive, domed church that sits at the entrance to the Grand Canal. For as large and imposing as its Baroque exterior is, though, inside it is surprisingly small and simple.

Italy 2013 187 Italy 2013 185

The church’s name translates to St. Mary of Health, and was built in thanksgiving for the majority of Venice’s population being spared from a bout of plague in the 1630s. It was designed by the architect Baldassare Longhena, and was completed in 1687.

In The Violinist of Venice, Adriana comes here to pray and clear her head after something upsetting happens (I won’t give anything more away than that). It is a place of solace for her, as before her mother died she would bring Adriana to the basilica to pray. She is accompanied by Giuseppe, her servant and friend, and they have a conversation and brief argument.

This same scene originally took place in Piazza San Marco, where Adriana and Giuseppe take a turn about the square, and but I had to change the location upon learning about Venice’s tides and acqua alta, and realizing that at that time of the day in December (which is when that scene takes place) Piazza San Marco would be completely flooded. So I moved the scene into Santa Maria della Salute, which I had visited while in Venice and thought was so beautiful that I had to work it into the book somewhere. It was also fitting that Adriana would want to pray and reflect at that point in the story, so it was the perfect location.

Italy 2013 191


Story & Song: Part 4

Welcome to the fourth installment of my blog series that I’m calling Story & Song. Each post will feature two pieces of music: a modern/contemporary song from the playlist of The Violinist of Venice, and a piece of Vivaldi’s music that features in the novel. I’ll describe how both pieces fit into the story with a minimum of spoilers!

Today I am again featuring my all-time favorite band: Nightwish!

Nightwish – “Slow, Love, Slow”

As you might guess after listening to this song, this goes with one of the love scenes in the book 🙂 Specifically, chapter 13. Obviously, it’s a very sexy song, both in the music and the lyrics. Something else that made it really fit the story for me, though, is the sound of the ticking clock that comes in at the very end of the song. Vivaldi and Adriana know from the beginning that their relationship is on borrowed time, and it’s time that they are always running out of. So that clock ticking away their time is also very fitting.

The Four Seasons

I think it goes without saying that The Four Seasons is Antonio Vivaldi’s most famous work – most people have heard it, even if they didn’t realize what it was or what it’s called. The Spring concerto is probably the most well known – it’s in a lot of movies and commercials and TV shows, you name it – so here I decided to include the Winter concerto, which is just gorgeous. I go back and forth on whether Winter or Summer is my favorite, but lately I like Winter, and hey, it’s seasonally appropriate as well!

The Four Seasons makes an appearance in chapter 63 of the novel, and is the first time Adriana – or indeed anyone – hears it. It’s not certain when and where The Four Seasons was first performed, so I took the liberty of supplying my own answer in the novel.

While in Venice researching the novel, I went to hear an orchestra perform The Four Seasons, and hearing that music in the very city in which Vivaldi had written it was absolutely one of the coolest experiences of my life. Not to mention that the orchestra was phenomenal!


Interview with Alyssa Palombo, Author of “The Violinist of Venice”

Had so much fun doing this great interview – see below, and thanks again to Sara for having me!

Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

Alyssa_Headshots_ESP-91-Edit

Writers rejoice when their publishing dreams come true, but it’s equally thrilling when the same happens for a writing pal. I met Alyssa Palombo back in 2004, on an official messageboard for the symphonic rock band Evanescence. That’s where we bonded over music, the Boston Red Sox, and writing. We fell out of touch after a while, but I always remembered how helpful Alyssa’s feedback had been and wondered if she was still writing. The answer came in 2014, when I stumbled across Alyssa’s book deal announcement for her first two books. No lie – I was so happy for her, I freaked out!

Today, I have the immense pleasure of having Alyssa Palombo here on the blog. We talked about her historical fiction debut The Violinist of Venice, which comes out next Tuesday, December 15th. (Click here to read my review.) You’ll also learn how her music background helped with…

View original post 3,441 more words