Am just now turning the radio on, as it were...

And, good heavens, they are still at the Beethoven. I'm going to listen instead to Roberta Invernizzi on her album I Viaggi di Faustina; am presuming that these are all arias that would have been sung by la diva verissima Faustina Bordoni (her life spanned most of the 18th century, if I remember correctly) for Messrs Handel, Vinci, Porpora, Bononcini et alii

Today is the Friday Ember Day in December, and Holy Mass will be streamed from Saint-Eugène at 1000 (Introibo). I had thought that there were at least two lessons before the Gospel today but evidently I'm mistaken or Introibo (it provides the one, Isaias 11,1sqq) is. I notice that at Divinum Officium the lesson or lessons ante Evangelium in the Rite of 1570 are omitted entirely which is, usually, a sign that the wonderful people who curate that site haven't gotten around to completing the page while from 1910 forward the single lesson from Isaias is given. Hmm. Multiple lessons tomorrow, however. I must look about. 

On Saturday morning. It eventually dawned on me to check my copy of the Liber Usualis for the Mass of Friday in Embertide-- it isn't there, lessons or no lessons. On further investigation-- I will plead on my own behalf that I didn't have the Liber back in September when was the last set of quattuor tempora, after Holy Cross-- the Saturday Ember Days are in the book, and all three Ember Days in Pentecost Week, the Octave of Pentecost. I was puzzled but a friendly member of the Facebook Traditional Rite group posted this in response to my question.

The name Liber Usualis translates roughly to 'handy book' - it makes no claim to be a complete collection of the chants of the Liturgy, it only contains those most likely to be used. The reason the Saturday Ember days are included is because they were 4 of the 6 days on which ordinations were permitted (the other 2 are also included: Holy Saturday for reasons that are no doubt obvious, and Sitientes Saturday which is the day before Passion Sunday).

Enigma solved. Thank you, John S.

Dr Derieux continues the presentation of the 'O' Antiphons in the Neumz 'Advent calendar' this morning.

The great antiphon that is sung at Vespers this evening is O Adonái et Dux domus Israël, qui Móysi in igne flammæ rubi apparúisti, et ei in Sina legem dedísti: veni ad rediméndum nos in brácchio exténto. Time for Terce. There is, in half an hour, a concert given by the Ensemble Castor. Who or where they are, or why I put the alarm in the machina, I have no recollection.

Post Tertiam. Finally occurred to me to simply search for their name online and thus I discovered what I do now recall having noticed a fortnight ago i.e. they are streaming the concert themselves from their own site.

Next on my agenda-- after I prepare breakfast-- is reading at The Music Salon: 'tis the day for the Friday Miscellanea and then I am I suspect disagreeing with Dr Townsend (but I must re-read the post first) and his dismals over the great German and Austrian composers of the 19th and early 20th centuries who, in their nationalist arrogance and complacency, didn't take the Holocaust of the Jewish people and the other Nazi horrors into account in their music-writing (an obvious impossibility, so I know I am misunderstanding the point or points). I don't suppose it is a good day to bring up my love for the opera Palestrina by Hans Pfitzner, whose embrace of the Nazi Party must surely have contributed-- one would imagine-- to his eventual bouts of insanity. 

An episode of Damian Thompson's podcast that features Sir James MacMillan discussing the 'Catholic Beethoven'; ordinarily I don't pay attention to podcasts (although I seem to subscribe to quite a few) but will try to listen to this one. 

Father John Hunwicke yesterday wrote a quite moving post about being an old man subject to the indignities imposed in tempore pestilentiae. And, as is so often the case, his readers have set off the Hunwickean jewel with a setting of their less precious but equally heartfelt comments. 

... But what is most in my mind at the moment is the habit among our rarely more-than-semi-educated journalists of constantly talking about 'hugs'. In their strange world, Coronavirus has meant that, because of 'distancing', I and millions of other poor old people of my age are sitting in loneliness longing to be able to 'hug' their grandchildren or 'be hugged' by them. You try counting how often this offensive trope is paraded on the TV screen by some dim cutie. There are all sorts of things I would love to feel easy doing....