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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:33 pm 
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O.k., we´ll see what the other chapters bring concerning the turning of Magyar on to Liszt. I´m curious. Today I don´t find any time to read further. Tomorrow I can go on, I think.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:54 am 
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Oooohhh, Andreas - I just finished chapter 3, but I won't say anything yet. I don't want to spoil anything for you. Wait to you read the very end of it! If what I think just happened, then this is really getting interesting...

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:12 pm 
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O.k., thank you, Monica,
today in the evening I´ll try to read chapter 3 after having done my sports.
But if you like you can write something to chapter 3, too, of course.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:15 pm 
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I have finished chapter 3. Humphrey had had his concert. He played all unmusically except the piece of Sam, which is to be said the piece of Maygar, which his ghost dictated to Humphrey.
Prendelberg shows interest and at the end there are two paparazzis (not the pobst, who could also be called paparazzi for fun, isn´t it? :lol: In german papa=father), who will probably publish the story.
Two points are still quite mysterious for me: Magyar is said to have died in 1903, but wether the historic Laszlo Magyar nor Franz Liszt has died in this year. And at the end there is a mysterious old man, who says, that he has suggested the B-natural. It was Luc, who has corrected Sams composition at one place with that tone. Do you have any idea, what this means, Monica or Nathan?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:19 pm 
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Humphrey’s concert does sound like it was pretty bad. It is strange though that he made the fake piece sound good. Almost like he really was possessed by a piano-playing ghost. Which brings me to the point – I think the old mad at the end is really Magyar. I am not sure about that, but that is what popped into my mind. And Andreas – you are right about that corrected note that Luc made in Sam’s composition – what the old man said. I did not catch that, but verryyyy interesting, indeed.

And isn’t it funny how the author puts in those funny statements about like the chair squeaking in f-sharp major, or the car horn honking in b-flat, things like that.

Also, I’m almost certain that Magyar is not a real person but is what we call in English – a fictional character. The author has given Magyar some of the same qualities as Liszt, but that is as far as it goes. (at least I think)

Ok, on to chapter 4…. (Nathan, where are you?) (maybe you’re busy writing that Ponce bio? :wink:)

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:53 pm 
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Pianolady wrote:
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And Andreas – you are right about that corrected note that Luc made in Sam’s composition – what the old man said. I did not catch that, but verryyyy interesting, indeed.


Yes, I´m curious now, how the story goes on.

Quote:
And isn’t it funny how the author puts in those funny statements about like the chair squeaking in f-sharp major, or the car horn honking in b-flat, things like that.


Yes, I noticed these kind of motifs built in regularly, too, but in the first moment I find them to be unrealistic, because most of them were just noises, like squeaking and these things.
First I thought, that I have never heard "squeaking" something in a certain scale. But then I remembered, that some technical advices can produce real "tones", which always have overtones in opposite to noises, which have not an overtone-serie. (That´s the physical difference between a noise and a tone.)
F.ex. in school we have a copy-advice, which squeaks by producing two quite clear tones: d´´ and h´, so its a small third, a "cuckoo"-third. So, I think, its´really possible, that a chair-squeaking could produce a f-sharp-major-chord f.ex, but not a real scale, I suppose.

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Also, I’m almost certain that Magyar is not a real person but is what we call in English – a fictional character. The author has given Magyar some of the same qualities as Liszt, but that is as far as it goes. (at least I think)


That´s a possibility and seems to be a good idea from my view. Let us see, how it goes on.
I shall try to read chapter 4 this evening.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:06 pm 
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*posting from local library*

Well, I shut down my computer and evidently I have a bad hard drive because it never started up again!!! ... *sigh* I sometimes agree with my grandma who jokingly said that computers are the antichrist! hehe

Anyway, I think the Magyar is just fictional composer used for the purposes of the story. Maybe loosely based upon Liszt and/or an amalgam of several composers. Later in the book it describes Magyar as having a ridiculously high forehead with a great beak of a nose ... sounds like Liszt to me. I'm gonna try to restrict my comments to where you guys are in book ... not having internet forced me to read the whole book!! lol ... the devil made me do it, and that's the story I'm sticking to! :P

I feel sorry for Humphrey ... such a pitiful character. But mostly not his fault, just because of circumstances mostly it seems.

And I too was fascinated by the in-tune squeakings of everyday objects. I wonder what that must be like ... incredibly annoying I would think. Wait till u guys get to the next piece Sam writes ... I was rolling around on bed lol because of the sounds he was incorporating into the piece.

Anyway, glad you're enjoying the book.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:48 pm 
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Thank you, Nathan, for your interesting lines and your anticipation of the composers figure. But please, don´t do further foreshadows, because it decreases the tension (for me).
You seem to be a phenomenon in reading books fastly! I do admire you. Even if I do read german books, I´m not a fast reader, because I always pay attention so much on details, but may be you are able to do this and to read fastly, are you?

I´m through with chapter four:
The russian expert has made a visit to the family of Humphrey. Sam was send away for several reasons and Humphrey pretended, that he is the cat of the family. This statement gives an interesting point to the story, because in the moment he said this, I have really wondered, if he begins to look through the scheme. But at the end it came out, that he just wanted to help Sam, because he thought, that the test could be annoying for him, and he stays the same naive character as before.
At the end the agent of Humphrey, Geoffrey, has phoned to Bridget and he has arranged a concert first in Milan and later in Geneve. So, the family took the train to Milan and while they reached their their compartment, there was a new mysterious matter. They have found a package with a book, which has the title "The secret life of Laszlo Magyar". With this aspect of the plot the ulterior part of it continues, after the mysterious old man at the end of chapter 3. These two hazards could make the reader believe in ulterior coherences (of course, only if the reader believes in such things). I think, the narrator does contrive this weird (creepy) part of the action very cannily. Do you agree?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:01 am 
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Yes - now we are really wondering if Magyar is that old man! The author is surely doing a good job of building suspense. And I like that these chapters are short, don't you?

Can't wait to see how the next concerts go. On to chapter 5.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:33 pm 
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Yes, Monica, short chapters have a more motivating effect on me than long ones (especially, if they ar in English :lol: ), because one chapter can be quite easily done within one or two hours in the evening. I don´t know, if I shall find the time to read chapter 5 today, but tomorrow, on friday I shall find the time in every case, I think.
I like the novel and I´m motivated to read further.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:37 pm 
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Wow, chapter 5 was a quite long one, but very captivating. At first, Humphreys family goes to Milan by train and Sam reads the book about Laszlo Magyar. At this place we get to know much about the life of our mysterious Hungarian composer. Really a very strange guy and it would be interesting to compare with aspects of Liszts life, but I think there are many differences, isn´t it?
His deadly accident (to trip in front of a tram) is also quite odd IMO, but not impossible, of course, really weird is the fact, that his head is conserved and his two hands have vanished and nobody knows, what happened with them. The accident happened in a surburb of Düsseldorf. (BTW, in former times I have lived nearby Düsseldorf.) For me it´s interesting, that the places of the plot of our novel seem to be all in Europe and Russia (there is mentioned a nun in the Ural, isn´t it?) until now. Also in "The pianoshop on the left bank" most of the plot takes part in Europe, though both authors, William Sleator and Thad Carhart, are Americans. That´s a remarkable analogy, isn´t it?
The author of the strange biography of Laszlo Magyar - which is not only a biography, but it contains also a breakdown of each piece of Magyar - claims to be a descendant of Maygar. I suppose it´s the same odd old man, who did know about Lucs correction of the b flat, because in this chapter he knows about Lucs correction of the c-sharp-major-chord, which is clear an analogy. Probably he has put the book into the compartment. He always seems to be aware, even in the hotel in Milan, when Sam has to fetch some food for the family, Sam bumps into an old man, who he does not recognize, but who has a "peculiar medicinal smell", which was "faintly familiar" to Sam. I´m not so sure, to what refers this "medicinal smell". Is it a hint to the head of the dead Magyar, which is conserved in formaldehyde or did the old man in the previous chapters also have such a "medicinal smell"? I don´t remember, I have to admit.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:29 pm 
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I just finished the chapter 5 also.

Yes - some interesting things going on here. As to our comparing Magdar to Liszt - we know that Liszt was very much into gypsy music, so here is another similarity. I don't remember if Liszt was an illegitimate child (like Madgar) or not, but his own daughter (Cosima) either was considered illegitimate for a time because of Marie D''Agoult not being divorced yet, or maybe Cosima herself had an illiegitimate child with Wagner before she was divorced from, from, from....argh...can't remember his name now.

Anyway, that old man - Andreas, you may be on to something about saying that he is the author of that Magyar book. But in my weird way, I thought it was Magyar himself! Like the ghost Magyar. I dunno....I could be way off with this - your idea makes more sense. I guess we'll find out soon.

And you're right - that medicinal smell is something I don't remember reading about before, either. Hmmm...

But at the end - that C-sharp chord thing. What do you make of that? How would that old man know about Sam writing it, and Luc changing it? Only if he is a ghost, is what I'm thinking again. Boo! :lol:

On to chapter...

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 11:00 pm 
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Hans von Bulow! (I just remembered that name :lol:)

Chapter 6 – Sam is feeling pretty disturbed over seeing that old man again, but no one else seems to care about it. So after reading up on Magyars days with the gypsies, he almost throws the book away but changes his mind.

Now the family is in Geneva. Sam is unsure of his participating in the scam but continues doing his part of writing the scores. They drug Humphrey the usual way but his behavior at the end – what he says is shocking! How could he have known about that? (I’m not putting it into words here so as not to spoil it)

You ever play 20 questions, Andreas and Nathan? I remember playing it with my brother and sister when we were going on long car trips. It was something to pass the time, but I’m not crazy about the game, really.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 11:16 pm 
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I don't remember if Liszt was an illegitimate child (like Madgar) or not, but his own daughter (Cosima) either was considered illegitimate for a time because of Marie D''Agoult not being divorced yet, or maybe Cosima herself had an illiegitimate child with Wagner before she was divorced from, from, from....argh...can't remember his name now.


Liszt was the legitimate child of Adam and Maria Anna Liszt, a born Lager. Cosima first married Hans von Bülow, a famous pianist and conductor, who first was a friend of Richard Wagner. Then Cosima fall in love with Wagner and he returned her love. The marriage with Hans v. Bülow was divorced and Cosima married Wagner in 1870 in Lucerne. First they lived in Tribschen (Lake Lucerne in Switzerland), later in Bayreuth. I have visited Wagners house in Tribschen as I was on holidays in Switzerland.

Quote:
at the end - that C-sharp chord thing. What do you make of that? How would that old man know about Sam writing it, and Luc changing it? Only if he is a ghost, is what I'm thinking again. Boo! :lol:


Yikes! Don´t affraight me!Image :lol:

Of course, you are right, these can only be ulterior incidents. But a real living person as what the old man is described in our novel can´t be a ghost, only something like a medium for a ghost. The old man could be such a medium IMO.

I have read chapter 6. Well, it seems as if the ghost of Magyar has begun to take possession also of Humphrey. Still in chapter 5 his reaction of the comic scene with the two witches was strange. But now at the end he seems to know something, which Sam had read before in the biography of Magyar. The two dried hands wrapped in old rags are exactly, what the hurted stranger had left "as a token of his appreciation" to Magyar and his mother, since they had nursed him to health.
The old man does not appear again in this chapter, but nevertheless this chapter is sinister, because of Humphreys weird behaviour and all the eldritch stories of the gypsy crone, which are told in the book of Magyar.
So for me there is raised up another question: has Humphrey read in the book about Magyar without that Sam knew it and does he play theatre? (Nothing is said about this in chapter 6, but he only can have get to know about the two hands wrapped in rags by reading in the biography of Magyar.) Or is Humphrey really obsessed by the ghost of Magyar?

What do you think?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:36 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
Liszt was the legitimate child of Adam and Maria Anna Liszt, a born Lager. Cosima first married Hans von Bülow, a famous pianist and conductor, who first was a friend of Richard Wagner. Then Cosima fall in love with Wagner and he returned her love. The marriage with Hans v. Bülow was divorced and Cosima married Wagner in 1870 in Lucerne. First they lived in Tribschen (Lake Lucerne in Switzerland), later in Bayreuth. I have visited Wagners house in Tribschen as I was on holidays in Switzerland.

But if I remember correctly, didn’t Cosima conceive a child with Wagner when she was still married to Bulow?

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Of course, you are right, these can only be ulterior incidents. But a real living person as what the old man is described in our novel can´t be a ghost, only something like a medium for a ghost. The old man could be such a medium IMO.

I suppose you are right – but I still have this funny feeling that the old man is really Magyar. Remember something in that biography that said the he did not age? That he still looked 25 years old when he was really 50, or something like that?

Quote:
The two dried hands wrapped in old rags are exactly, what the hurted stranger had left "as a token of his appreciation" to Magyar and his mother, since they had nursed him to health.

I’m a little confused – I did not read that the stranger in the biography left the two hands wrapped in the rags. I thought we did not know what was actually inside the rags. Maybe I missed that?

Quote:
What do you think?

I don’t think Humphrey read the book yet, and I do think this ghost business is for real. Maybe chapter 7 will shed some more light.

Speaking of that – I may not be able to read chapter 7 and comment about it until tomorrow night. I have 25 family members coming over today for dinner. It's Father's Day in the US today so I'm hosting the party.

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