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February 8th, 2018


Elvis Costello - My Funny Valentine

Allegri's Miserere is one of the most immediately familiar pieces of music ever recorded, but it wasn't always so. For over a century it was only ever played on special occasions inside the Vatican. The church jealously guarded the score, and refused to let anyone make copies. That was blown apart one day in 1770. A teenage Mozart attended a performance, retired to his room, and transcribed everything he had heard note for note.

So the story goes, at least.

What's rather better documented is that one day in 1979 Elvis Costello was sitting in a pub, heard My Funny Valentine on the jukebox, and immediately nipped out to the recording studio to do his own version. It's only 90 seconds long, but it's a tender performance and the immediacy really shows. Just one man, his bass, and a bit of vulnerability. It does wonders.

Elvis Costello - My Funny Valentine