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"Your Grace - so there you are! It's taken me weeks to track you down!"
Thus spoke Cato, the trusty manservant of Father Melchizedek OP, the High Priest of Period Practice. The latter - a luminary of SPECTRE (Sinister Period Practice Enacted to Counter Traditional Readings Everylastingly) was sunning himself on a patio that overlooked the Mediterranean Sea. Much to the alarm of passers-by, he was near-naked (a bike-seat cushion was protecting his manhood). Needless to say, he had been lobsterized by the sun.
"This had better be important!" the cleric snapped. "You know that I've taken a sabbatical from Amazon in order to recoup my powers! Contact with the Unsaved - the Karajanists - drains me of energy. I need to mortify my flesh, cleanse the spirit and reconnect with my inner self in all its purity!"
As he spoke, a waiter brought out a trolley. It bore a silver-service. A banquet progressively materialised.
"But Your Grace, I checked your schedule. You're supposed to be staying at the Monastery of St Leonhardt the Stern - the facility just outside Antwerp. It's famous for its asceticism: the mattresses of straw; the lack of running water and rats aplenty. They pipe Rifkin's Bach Cantatas into the cells at night. What brings you here - to Positano of all places?"
"Cato, I am interested in more ethereal matters. For instance, Beethoven's choice of keyboards was obviously limited to what the instrument makers of his era were offering, specifically what we today call fortepianos. Would Beethoven have chosen a modern concert grand piano if someone had built one for him? I suspect he would have, with his well-known taste for furor and clamor. But that question is moot. Read more ›
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