An honest day’s work

A brief discussion of Mozart and Verdi’s Requiems and Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia.

José is a key figure in the gay Valencian ex-waiters’ clique. His compendious knowledge of sacred architecture and music makes him ideally suited for the post he has occupied without distinction for the past two years: shelf-stacker and till boy at a downtown branch of a B-grade supermarket. He appreciates why Verdi’s Requiem is a better piece of music than Mozart’s, and finds that tins whacked down on the second and fourth beats form an excellent accompaniment to the sumptuous soprano and alto Lachrymosa duet from the former, while non-payers are pursued to the exit with a stern rendition of the opening “Requiem aeternam”.

For all the superior quality of Verdi’s work, José acknowledges that Mozart’s version is more interesting simply because it was left unfinished. This judgement would not be shared by Liam from T, a not particularly large village in County Kerry. Liam, in Barcelona for an ondocumented survey of beverage retailers, became the focus of an unpleasant scene at the exit from the Sagrada Familia, demanding his money back on the grounds that your man had not finished the facking roof.

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