chapter xvii: Guglielmo Carrochiuso
|Invited over to attend an afternoon recital, Guglielmo Carrochiuso stayed with myeck's grandmother's great aunt Wilhelmina's parents for nearly four years. After a delegation of local fathers and their truncheons convinced him to retire from giving violin lessons, he turned his entire attention to composing, and found great success despite the fierce competition in Vienna. But his poor grasp of German caused perhaps the biggest crisis of his life.|
|Karl Dummel, a wealthy but untitled Viennese printing magnate eager to improve his social standing, decided to impress the local gentry with a lavish celebration on the occasion of his daughter's wedding. He hired the finest dressmaker for the wedding gown. He hired the best chefs to feed a lavish meal to the guests. He hired a clockmaker to create a clever little clockwork bride and groom for the top of the cake. And he hired Carrochiuso to write the music.||
Carrochiuso rehearing the ensemble. "They were actually," according to the one known report of the concert, "quite good, and the sight of the Lilliputians laboring seriously away whilst dressed in their miniature finery lent a humorous effect."
|Commissioned to compose a
concert piece for "a small group of musicians",
Carrochiuso did just that.
Dummel was furious.
|Despite the generally favorable
reaction to the concert, Dummel mounted a campaign of
harassment against Carrochiuso so stunning in its
ferocity that local society, whose acceptance Dummel so
desperately craved, turned its back on him, and it took
over a century of printing
nothing but Bibles to restore the name Dummel to its
Carrochiuso, of course, was long gone. He fled Vienna in tears and huddled in the sitting room of a family friend in the tiny village of Kleinstadt, composing in silence.
|Like Beethoven, Carrochiuso composed in silence. Having left his spectacles behind in Vienna, he didn't realize he was seated at a piano.|
|It would be two years before he played another note, and then it was quite by accident.|