Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Unpublished short story (Comes with CD)

Persephone (wealthy, capricious celebrity of unearthly beauty – think Naomi Campbell) taunts Théophile (impoverished intellectual, familiar throughout Western literature – UK casting Richard E. Grant, US casting Stephen Buscemi) to collect extracts that will give her "some idea of classical music”. Keen to immerse her in Quartet for the end of time and Berg’s violin concerto T realises, sadly, the pieces must be accessible, part of a masterpiece, and widely different. One composer per choice.

1. Song, An die Musik. Schubert.
2. Overture, Academic Festival. Brahms.
3. Ballet music, opening theme, Petruschka. Stravinsky.
4. Cello concerto, first movement. Dvorak.
5. Oratorio aria, “He was despised”, Messiah. Handel.
6. Double violin concerto, first movement. Bach
7. Choral song, “Summer is icumen in”, Spring symphony. Britten.
8. Piano concerto no. 4, third movement. Beethoven.
9. Symphony no. 8, Leningrad, second (?) movement. Shostakovich.
10. Operatic trio, first act, Cosi fan tutte. Mozart.

Persephone arrives ninety minutes late for the recital accompanied by Peascod, bass guitarist of Metallica. As Dvorak sounds, the gorgeousness's mobile rings and, Hey!, she’s off to testify about blood diamonds. Peascod nods at Théophile, says “Great tunes, dude. At least you reached track four.” and walks off whistling an accomplished rock version of An die Musik..

Théophile presses the Stop button after track nine and replaces track ten with the Countess’s aria “Porgi, armor,” second act, Figaro.

“Grant, love, that relief to my sorrow, to my sighing
Give me back my treasure or at least let me die.”

Then succumbs to consumption.

NOVEL Trying a new title “A pin’s fee”. Plutarch yet to respond.

10 comments:

The Crow said...

"A Pin's Fee" by Peter de Polnay, 1946

Hattie said...

Ha! Ha!

Julia said...

Bass guitarists do have hidden depths.

No string quartet? If she likes Metallica, I vote Death and the Maiden, first movement.

christopher said...

I want the CD.

Thanks for the playlist.

You crack me up! (American for you are amazingly amusing in your smooth British way.)

Sharing My Classics

If I tried to raise
your urbanity I would
deserve what I get
when you wander off
after yet more shiny things,
me thinking I have
a grip, know what's what
and have the duty to trim
your pierced, tatooed soul.

Barrett Bonden said...

The Crow: I thought PdP was dead, checked his dates and he was only a couple of years older than me when he snuffed it. Mind you, he was born in 1906. The quote is, of course, from that deep mine of quotes/titles, Hamlet, and there is in fact no copyright on book titles. That book I'd edited for two years was given the title American Ikaros; after it was published we found a book, written within the previous decade, with the same name. A Pin's Fee will probably never get past Dr Plutarch but I wanted to explore titles way out in left field.

Hattie: I was beginning to worry I'd been too clever. No response, at first.

Julia: Mrs BB inevitably agrees with you on DatM. I challenged her on the first mvt in the supermarket and she hummed it to me but admitted it might be the second - very slow, very sombre. Anway you can't have it because we've already got a Schubert. I doubt the Naomi Campbell character likes anyone in particular; she just likes being seen with other celebs (or very very rich businessmen) in slavish attendance.

Christopher: A poem! That's a first. I thought I'd have to wait until my tombstone was carved before I attracted one.

And a self-deprecatory poem, too. Methinks the fellow doth protest too much; you've got your own ballpark which I am not equipped to play in. As I mentioned before, I could never match the compression some of my US mates came up with in their asides. I've posted this before but doubt that you've seen it. Told by my old drinking pal, Harry Miller, born of humble stock in Pittsburgh's Mount Oliver.

It concerned Howard McSwiggin, a libidinous motorcyclist who had a penchant for other bloke's wives. Caught in flagrante, he raced away on his bike and sought to escape by turning into a supermarket car park, not noticing someone had stretched a chain across the entrance. Result: decapitation. HM's comment: "Safe to say Howard McSwiggin died with a curse on his lips."

Rouchswalwe said...

Is there a percussionist in this story?

The Crow said...

You didn't ask for suggestions re: a title, but waiting to be asked was never my strong suit, so I'm going to risk annoying you by offering one (I got a million of 'em, as Mr. Durante was fond of saying): "Surviving Maggie"

Barrett Bonden said...

The Crow: I wouldn't accord her the familiarity of a diminutive. However, you've set me thinking. One of the minor characters refers to her as "that brass-haired gorgon" so I'm quite taken by

GORGON
TIMES

The Crow said...

Fantastic title, BB! Punchy, eye-catching, with a nice barb...yeah, I'd pick that title off the shelf for a look through, definitely.

Julia said...

Gorgon times. I like it.