Who is that ominous looking man in the long cape walking
down the aisle, you ask?
Don't be afraid. It's just conductor Jordi Savall in
a production of Claudio Monteverdi's L'Orfeo.
What an incredibly beautiful production. Simply perfect
in every way that I can think of. Try the full screen
version for full effect; and be sure to check out the
slow rising of the curtain revealing La Musica at 1:58
and the slow lowering of her arm at 3:11.
As van der Rohe said, god is in the details.
From my beloved Permessus I come to you,
illustrious heroes, noble scions of kings,
whose glorious deeds Fame relates,
though falling short of the truth, since the target is too high.
I am Music, who in sweet accents
can calm each troubled heart,
and now with noble anger, now with love,
can kindle the most frigid minds.
Singing to a golden lyre, I am wont
sometimes to charm mortal ears;
and in this way inspire souls with a longing
for the sonorous harmony of heaven's lyre.
Hence desire spurs me to tell you of Orpheus,
the immortal glory of Pindus and Helicon,
Orpheus who drew wild beasts to him by his singing,
and who subjugated Hades by his entreaties.
Now while I alternate my songs, now happy, now sad,
let no small bird stir among these trees,
no noisy wave be heard on these river banks,
and let each little breeze halt in its course.