Yelling for silence

King David the musicianI was in Italy last week and was lucky enough to be in Siena on the day the fragile mosaics of the cathedral floor were uncovered, as they are each summer for a short period. My photo shows one of the central mosaics, King David who was also a musician.

The cathedral was full of people quietly moving about, enjoying their opportunity to gaze at the intricately patterned floor. Yet though there was no more than a gentle murmur of appreciation, we were subjected every few minutes to a forceful announcement, ordering us to be silent. It blared out at incredible volume from loudspeakers on high, making everyone jump and destroying the very silence it was demanding.

It reminded me of my visit to the Sistine Chapel in Rome. When I picture that day, I still see us all cringing at the deafening exhortations to keep quiet. I love Italy and would go there every year if I could, but I can’t understand the Italian attitude to making people behave ‘with respect’, especially in places where they are already doing so instinctively.

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This entry was posted on Thursday 26th August 2010 at 9:33am and is filed under Daily Life, Musings, Travel. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Yelling for silence”

  1. Paul Austen said on

    Susan, I chuckled to myself when I read about the ‘Ohrwurm’ going round in your head!! I’ve been afflicted with similar since Cerne Abbas, but in my case it’s been the Schumann Piano Quintet and of course I blame you entirely!!! hahahaha (Well, Cristoff has a part in the blame as well with his playing of that magical second subject in the first movement!!). I’ve been searching since for a recording that I like and the more I listen the more I hope you will record it with the Gaudier or the Florestan!!
    Talking of the latter, I bought (as you told me to – well that was my defence when my wife Sue said “Not more CDs!!!” when the Amazon package arrived!!!!) the recording of the Brahms Trios. I knew and love the Clarinet Quintet and the Sonatas but I didn’t even know he’d written the Trio for the same person. What a gorgeous work and wonderful playing. I already had a recording of the Horn Trio, another of my favourite chamber works but Stephen’s playing on that set is wonderful!! Thank you so much for pointing me towards that recording!!

  2. peter said on

    The Italian attitude to “respect” in churches is something wondrous to behold, since so many churches have public phones installed inside at the back!

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