Welcome to the third 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!
It’s time for Story & Song: Part 3! Today I’m featuring a song I love by a lesser-known band called Crimson Chrysalis.
Crimson Chrysalis – “Moth Around a Flame”
I stumbled across South African symphonic rock band Crimson Chrysalis a few years ago, and I am sure glad I did. Their sound is truly something different and unique, and this song, from their first album Crimson Passion Cry, is, as you’ll hear, just lovely.
This song goes with a scene in chapter 17 of The Violinist of Venice, when Adriana attends a party and meets the man who will become her suitor, Tommaso Foscari. This song, to me, fit perfectly with their first dance together because, despite the fact that Adriana has already embarked upon her affair with Antonio Vivaldi by this time, she still finds herself drawn to Tommaso: to his charm, his good looks, his kindness, his interest in her. She knows that she could love him, and her relationship with Tommaso is one that evolves and changes a great deal over the course of the novel.
Concerto for Violin in A Minor, Op. 3, No. 6
This concerto appears in the novel several times, but it first appears in chapter 15, which is a chapter that I am rather fond of. In this chapter, Vivaldi first gives Adriana this concerto to play, and the differences in her approach to the first movement versus the second causes him to teach her something very important about music.
I actually started to learn the first movement of this concerto when I took violin lessons as research for the novel. I was not particularly good at it, but I jumped at the opportunity to attempt this when my teacher suggested it, since I had written the first draft of this scene/chapter not long before.
This chapter also holds a special place in my heart, because it was the first portion of the novel I shared with anyone beyond one of my close friends, who is also my critique partner. I had been invited to read at the Fall Coffeehouse Open Mic event at my alma mater, Canisius College, which was being hosted by a friend of mine still in school there. I hadn’t thought of reading anything from Violinist until my critique partner asked me, “Why not?” And once the idea was out there, it was like a challenge, and I found I couldn’t back down from it. So, despite being rather nervous, I read this chapter aloud for the event, and it went over well!