Following the post on Mexican organ grinders, someone kindly sent in the following anecdote, posted by Mark Williamson over at the Mechanical Music Digest:
The Italian composer Pietro Mascagni was sitting in his study one day when a street musician stopped outside and began to play one of Mascagni’s pieces on his hand-cranked barrel organ. He was turning the handle too quickly so that the tempo was faster than it should have been. Mascagni put up with it for a few minutes, then he went outside, grabbed the handle, and played the piece at its proper tempo. He then returned to his study.
Next day he was amused to see the street musician displaying a sign which read, ‘Pupil of the celebrated Mascagni’!
Somewhere in the 90s I got onto a bus in Manchester city centre on which the muzak tape was playing at double speed. No one seemed even vaguely interested. After a while I alighted.
- Where did Petersburg’s organ-grinders go in winter?
I fear only some of them migrated with the swallows. Featuring Boris Sadovskoy, Yuri Norstein, Aleksey Batalov, Rolan Bykov and Gogol.
- So where does Silvio Berlusconi stand on organ-grinders?
Unfortunately Alan Friedman’s excellent authorised bio, My Way, leaves us none the wiser.
- Mexico City’s organ-grinders
On the same day the Enola Gay dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, a small Mexico City pharmaceutical manufacturer offered the distinguished
- The Sultan’s organ
Howard Goodall runs a good organ miscellania page here, of which the Sultan and Elizabeth I organ donation anecdote was one of
- Barrel organ available for losing bettors on the Iowa caucuses
Exemplary punishments from the 1892 US presidential election.