A few months ago, we had the first installment of the German Joys Obscure Cultural Trivia Contest. Somebody won the contest, which I wasn’t expecting. They received the prize, which was musical in nature. A success for all concerned, except for me, who had to prepare and mail off the bloody prize. Next time, I resolved, I’m going to make this more obscure.
Like all German Joys features, this one happens intermittently; whenever I feel like it, or get inspired. Inspiration struck me recently. In a book, I read the following description of a play:
[T]hree persons, dressed in red, enter and bow. We do not know to whom. One of them recites a poem (which should make the impression of something necessary exactly at that moment). A gentle old man enters with a cat he leads on a string. Until now, everything has been going on against the background of a black curtain. The curtain is drawn apart and an Italian landscape appears. Organ music is heard. The old man talks to the three persons. He says something which corresponds to the created mood. A glass falls from the table. All of them, suddenly on their knees, are weeping. The old man changes into a furious brute and murders a little girl who just crawled out from the left side. At this, a handsome young man runs in and thanks the old man for that murder, while the persons in red sing and dance. The young man then weeps over the corpse of the little girl saying extremely funny things, and the old man changes again into a tender-hearted character chuckling on the sidelines. The sentences he pronounces are sublime and lofty.
Tell me who originally wrote this description of a play, and you win the prize, which is lots of beautiful music. Good luck!