Although the relative humidity is 95%, which I dislike; not yet 50 degrees, however, and I've been back from my walk for ages so the high humidity shouldn't be an issue really, not until I have to go out tomorrow, anyway. It is the Tuesday infra Octavam Corporis Christi (Introibo), or a feria in the 2nd week post Octavam Pentecostes (Introibo), or who knows what in the calendar of the Pauline Rite.
The lessons at Matins were, in the first nocturn, the continuation of the history of the Ark of the Covenant from the First Book of Kings, in the second, from the letter of Saint Cyprian to Caecilius on Melchisedech-- autem Melchisedech typum Christi portaret-- and the true Sacrifice of the Living Bread (Dr DiPippo notes this here), and in the third, the continuation of Saint Augustine on Saint John's Gospel. Time for Prime and the breakfast.
Ante Tertiam. Am listening to the Swedish National Day concert from the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. I can smile at what the Swedes find amusing and hear lovely music all in the same program; have been saving this since the weekend.
Post Nonam. It is raining, gently enough. Three hours now for Haydn's first oratorio Il Ritorno di Tobia in a 2020 recording by the Mozarteum Orchester of Salzburg under the direction of Ivor Bolton.
The prime stumbling-block is the libretto by Giovanni Gastone Boccherini, brother of the more famous Luigi. With its murders, monsters and miracles, the story of Tobias [from the 17th Book of the Old Testament, consigned to the flames by the Protestants] could have been a composer's gift. Instead, Boccherini laboriously observes Classical convention and sets Tobias's adventures entirely in the past tense. When Tobias and his new wife, the serially widowed Sara (husbands one to seven have all been murdered by the demon Asmodeus), eventually appear, the action grinds forward with stultifying slowness, weighed down by reams of sententious moralising. 'Delay could prove fatal', says Tobias to his mother Anna as he prepares to cure his father Tobit's cataract with the gall of a sea monster. He then launches into an eight-minute 'parable' aria, to which his mother [rejoins], 'A just sense of urgency spurs him on'. [This of the Gramophone reviewer is amusing, I'll grant him that.]
I haven't found the entire libretto yet. We shall see.
It is also the feast of Saint Medard (6th century), of Saint Maximinus (1st century), and of Saint Clodolfus (7th century).
V. Et álibi aliórum plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum et Confessórum, atque sanctárum Vírginum. R. Deo grátias.