Harpsichordists: Such Sweet Clawing

His back is curved as a barrel stave, and his chin kisses his chest. He looks like Satan grown chubby, but his deepest pleasure is the most innocent in Christendom—playing the harpsichord. His sweet music is brilliant and astonishingly rich, but at the end of a concert he can melt with a mundane gesture the mystic spell he has taken an evening to build. "I'm Fernando Valenti," he will say, extending a moist, pudgy hand. "Thank you very much for listening to me."

The Rat Race. Three players alone preside over the audience of...

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