Okay, on my most recent quest for cool music-related stuff on Youtube, I came across this one really awesome video from a 1985 BBC film called God Rot Turnbridge Wells. Though I haven’t seen the entire thing, I particularly enjoyed this scene here, where composer George Frederic Handel goes toe to toe with Maestro Domenico Scarlatti in a harpsichord battle. Me, being the music geek and BatB fan that I am, I jumped at the chance to compare Scarlatti and Cadenza, and potentially form a few headcanons about him based off of what I saw here.
Long story short, I too have history skills, and I have to show them off at least once during the time I have left before you all lose interest in me [haha, I’m only kidding…plz don’t leave].
So, let’s break down the duel in and of itself. One composer would play a few measures of music, then the other would either repeat it back or put their own spin on it and try to make it better. When one of the composers deemed that the melody had run its course, he started another. Most of the time, both composers were able to keep the rhythm, and they never missed a beat. The competition wasn’t about whether or not they could keep up with each other; it was based on skill alone. And judging by the glances they shared during the duel, it was obvious that they both respected the other’s skills. Let’s also take into consideration that while Scarlatti looks older than Handel, they were both 23 when this duel took place.
Handel insists that he won (three times, I might add), but from my perspective, it’s pretty obvious that Scarlatti was playing with him for most of the duel before he realized “oh, this guy’s actually pretty good, but I’m not gonna let him win” and used Handel’s own melody against him (2:33). And even before that happened, Handel visibly starts to sweat a little, whereas Scarlatti remains confident–even a little playful–throughout the entire scene.
I think the thing that makes Scarlatti’s victory the most impressive was that Handel actually had the upper hand going in–his harpsichord had two rows of keys where Scarlatti’s only had one. If you have two rows of keys, it means you have access to different octaves of the same note (notice that when Handel switches to the second row there’s a slight difference in how the notes sound). So Scarlatti was able to beat Handel with half the number of keys. And it was Handel’s piece they were playing; I found out later that each passage they played was taken from Handel’s Passacaille in G minor.
And I mean, it’s in the books that Scarlatti won. Although with a little research, I found that they did duel again some time after this–only with an organ instead of a harpsichord–and Handel won. And that they both respected each other greatly after all of it.
So here are the headcanons:
Before he met his wife, Cadenza was invited to do this all the time (or he was the one that issued the challenge), especially if it was at a party where a lot of people could watch and judge who was better. Before he was known as one of the best harpsichordists in Europe, this was how he’d make himself known. And after a while, the right people started paying attention. If he was at a gathering and people already knew him, they’d try to set him up (like how Scarlatti was given an instrument with less keys than Handel), and would be shocked when he still kept up with his opponent.
God forbid anyone challenge him with his own music. He wouldn’t even wait to acknowledge the other person’s skill; he’d just one-up himself and leave the other person practically tripping over the keys. He’d be modest about it, though; he’d praise them for their ambitions. But at the end of the day, the only master of Cadenza’s music was Cadenza himself.
He’s a bit competitive overall, that much is certain.
I imagine he and Scarlatti met with each other at one point during their lives (since they were both from Italy and had a knack for the harpsichord), though Cadenza would have been a lot younger than at the time and maybe even saw Scarlatti as a source of inspiration. [This is for historical accuracy; Scarlatti died in 1757, and if BatB took place in the 1750s as I believe it does, then Scarlatti was either dead or very old when the story started.]
Whether or not they went toe to toe…well, I’ll leave that up to you guys. Scarlatti’s a genius when it comes to the harpsichord…so I’d think that they just respected each other’s talents, maybe played a little together, and moved on.
In fact, I think this was how Garderobe became aware of him. I imagine that he’d already heard her perform on more than one occasion and had recognized her as a fantastic opera singer, but she hadn’t really taken that much notice in him. One night, they just so happened to be at the same party and someone called him up to participate, and he won, and that was when Garderobe really began to take an interest in him because she saw his raw talent on display. She went up and talked to him afterwards, and he took that opportunity to say what a huge fan he was of her talents, and the rest was history.
In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if the movie writers’ main inspiration for Cadenza was Scarlatti. I just found a few good similarities between the two. Both were Italian, both played the harpsichord, composed stuff, and both were supposedly the best at what they did. [In fact I was so deep in trying to figure this guy out that I was like “If Scarlatti married a singer—!” But then he didn’t, and I was bummed. Oh well.]
ahhh of course, but my fantasy recs list (although some may overlap from my other rec list) is not going to be very long as i’ve only recently started reading more in that genre but here are some that fall into the categories of either high or epic fantasy:
a darker shade of magic by v.e. schwab
caraval by stephanie garber
chosen by k.f. breene
graceling by kristin cashore
nightblade by ryan kirk
peter darling by austin chant
rebel of the sands by alwyn hamilton
shadow and bone by leigh bardugo
sins of empire by brian mcclellan
six of crows by leigh bardugo
strange the dreamer by laini taylor
sufficiently advanced magic by andrew rowe
the lies of locke lamora by scott lynch
the ninth rain by jen williams
the star-touched queen by roshani chokshi
the stormlight archive by brandon sanderson
the winner’s trilogy marie rutkoski
the wrath & the dawn by renee ahdieh
the queen of the tearling series by erika johansen
I’ve been building up to this vid since the finale, after reading the interview about how entwined the TVD sentiment of “epic” is with SE relationship. I wanted to make a video that shows the many different ways SE were epic as well as include every mention of the word epic in relation to their love.
“Your story may not have such a happy beginning, but that doesn’t make you who you are, it is the rest of your story, who you choose to be.”
Skadoosh!!! ladies and gentlemen it’s finally done my Kung Fu Panda 3 art made it by pencil color. One week of none stop work for making this beauty and I wanna say thank you so much (the whole pandom) for all your support you gave me in my progress without your support I wouldn’t make it through, so I hope guys like it, love it or adore it I don’t know and I hope it filled your expectations ‘cuz it filled mine jajajajaja
Alison is the Nominatrix, and the Master is the Magister
I’m writing more Scream of the Shalka fanfic, posting on AO3. This one’s called Hold Me Fast.I previously had the first two chapters posted, but you should read the second again because I added a conversation about names. And it’s kinda funny, if I do say so myself.
This excerpt is Alison reviewing what has happened before the story started. Her companion contract clearly stated that she was never calling the Master by his actual name, but…so…what does she call him?
…He asked her to rename him, then proceeded to reject all her perfectly good suggestions, including Merlin, Prospero, Voldemort, Christian Grey, Moriarty, Prince of Lies, and Professor Panjandrum. She’s especially grieved that he rejected the last, moniker of the villain of Last Defender of Earth, a BBC sci-fi TV series from the 1970s. It was especially disappointing because he was apparently a Defenders fan too, having spent a significant amount of that decade on Earth, thus able to tune in regularly to the first run. They both agreed that first series Panjandrum had wit and style [as opposed to the one from the reboot, who was all angst and daddy issues]. Yet still he refused to go by the name of someone who, unable to learn from his mistakes, kept relying on robots for muscle, despite their tendency to revolt.
Then she suggested Magister, the title by which she had called all her Latin tutors. He, translating it first and foremost as master, said that she wouldn’t want that. After a ridiculous dispute involving much folding of arms, curling of brows, and rolling of eyes, she got silly enough and exasperated enough to tell him, Sede atque tace atque aude! In other words, Sit down; shut up, and listen to me! in Latin.
That stopped him pacing. Eyebrows up, head slightly to one side, he considered her with both surprise and calculation. His smile grew curious, his voice hitting a quieter, more measured level. “Very well then. Sedeo.” He placed himself in the chair before her. “Audio.” He nodded in acknowledgment. “Atque taceo.” And he said nothing more.
Alison stared at him. Whenever the Doctor turned his power off, he automatically sank into a similar posture, seated loosely but alert, hands folded. In his disempowered state, as the robot called it, his neck bent, his eyes turning down, but it wasn’t like sleep. It was more like he was in waiting, waiting upon the Doctor.
The robot was doing the same thing now, but different. She hadn’t made him sit by hitting his power button, but he rested before her as if she had. He held himself with a serene, almost casual readiness, but wasn’t waiting upon her so much as he was waiting for her. His eyes lit with glee, he watched for the next move: hers.
And a bit later, after she argues him down to Magister:
Then the robot, the Magister, the person who now had something she could call him without wanting to sick up, asked her what she would be to him. Domina Sortis, perhaps? Capitanea Animae? His suggestions drew from the last line of her Invicta:Mistress of [her] Fate and Captain of [her] Soul.
Alison vetoed Domina, as it reminded her of Dominus, i.e., the Lord your God, and she was past the stage in life where she wanted to smite everyone – unless, of course, they really deserved it. As for Capitanea Animae, she reminded the Magister that Anima was her name for the Doctor’s sentient spaceship, the TARDIS. There was only one capitaneus/capitanea/capitaneum in her mind, and that was the Doctor. [The Doctor’s non-binary, non-commital gender didn’t translate from Gallifreyan, so Alison used they/them in English and, just to be safe, all three Latin genders.] She couldn’t usurp that title.
Going about as deadpan as his mobile, responsive face allowed, the Magister declared then that, by process of elimination, she must be the Nominatrix – the one who gives names. He apologized profusely for his tortured pronunciation. He really should have stressed the first syllable, and yet somehow his utterance of the word much have been subconsciously influenced by the English dominatrix. How had that happened? He truly had no idea.
Both of them burst out laughing. When she recovered her composure, Alison allowed that she preferred Nominatrix over my dear Miss Cheney. It would be fine, she said, as long as he never substituted the N for a D. If he did that, even once, he was going to be Professor Panjandrum forever. He swore compliance.