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So rose the dreadful ghost from his next and blackest opera, there on the stage stood the figure of a dead commander and I knew, only I understood that the horrifying aparition was Leopold, raised from the dead. (the opera continues) Wolfgang had actually summoned up his own father to accuse his son before all the world. It was terrifying and wonderful to watch (the opera continues) And now the madness began in me. The madness of the man splitting in half. Through my influence, I saw to it Don Giovanni was played only five times in Vienna but in secret I went to every one of those five worshipping a sound that only I seemed to hear. (the opera continues) And as I stood there understanding how that bitter old man was still possessing his poor son even from beyond the grave. I began to see a way, a terrible way, I could finally triumph over God.
Your... merciful God. He destroyed His own beloved, rather than let a mediocrity share in the smallest part of His glory.
I am stopping it! Slowly. There? See? I've stopped. Now we're going back.
Yes, yes! You don't know where you are! Here, everything goes backwards. People walk backwards, dance backwards, sing backwards, and even talk backwards.
Why? People fart backwards.
Leave me alone.
I cannot leave alone a soul in pain.
Do you know who I am?
It makes no difference. All men are equal in God's eyes.
(leans in mockingly) *Are* they?
Forgive me, Majesty. I am a vulgar man! But I assure you, my music is not.
My dear young man, don't take it too hard. Your work is ingenious. It's quality work. And there are simply too many notes, that's all. Just cut a few and it will be perfect.
Which few did you have in mind, Majesty?
On the page it looked nothing. The beginning simple, almost comic. Just a pulse - bassoons and basset horns - like a rusty squeezebox. Then suddenly - high above it - an oboe, a single note, hanging there unwavering, till a clarinet took over and sweetened it into a phrase of such delight! This was no composition by a performing monkey! This was a music I'd never heard. Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing, it had me trembling. It seemed to me that I was hearing the very voice of God.
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