Sunday, July 3, 2011

Fame's Seduction - Power's Control

The courtyard of Palazzo Medici-Riccardi...© by leo1383
Lorenzo di Medici led us to the magnificent Cappella dei Magi, one of the crowning jewels of the palace.  For a moment I lost even the image of Fiora’s eyes.  I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the frescoes painted by Benozzo Gozzoli, one of the most gifted 'equine' Medieval painters, (and disciple of the famous Florentine painter of angels, Fra Angelico).  I began to understand how wealth and power could seduce a man.
            “I should like to have you write a Motet for my niece’s wedding. You may remember the young woman who sang for you last night.”
            My mind returned to the young woman with a protruding nose and mediocre voice at best.
            “Yes, very accomplished,” I managed.
            “We would like to cultivate her voice. It is an accomplishment when used in the right setting.  I think that you will be an admirable composer for her talent.”
            “I am honored, naturally.  And I am at your service.  May I suggest another talented singer with whom we can work?  Fiora di Moretti.  You heard her sing last night.”
            “Yes, a remarkable voice to be sure.  I should like to consider that. But this commission will feature my niece.”
            “Isn’t she the bride?”
            “Would it not be preferable for her to enjoy her wedding feast and to sing for another ceremony?”
            “I am a family man and given to indulgence.  This is her request and a small one. She wants to present it as a gift to her husband.  Romantic notion isn’t it?”
            Cesco’s words wrapped through my head.  I hadn’t even begun to ponder how I was now able to hear him.  I’d assumed that we were so well acquainted that I could imagine every word that he would utter.  But that was not the case.  His conversation resided in my head.  I’d only to look into his intense eyes to verify the messages that he sent me.

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