Bottesini stayed here for several months, playing a solo engagement while on his way from Milan to Vienna in 1839.

Freed from the stultifying atmosphere of Lombardy for the first time in his life, he was seized with a desire to write a detailed fictional account about one minute in Crema, his home town.

This astounding work details the interwoven comings, goings, and interactions of the townsfolk and their animals between 10:38 and 10:39 on July 7, 1829. During his months in Trieste, Bottesini peppered friends and family in Crema with letters asking how many rose bushes grew in this garden, or how many cobblestones paved that piazza.

The manuscript ran to over 1,000 pages by the time he stopped working on it; it is not known whether he finished or merely gave up. The work apparently was a form of catharsis rather than a serious artistic endeavor.

It is possibly forthcoming from MTIC Press if monumental MS difficulties can be overcome.

"We all must learn where to place our fingers."
© 1997, Jeff Brooks (