The Farringford Cadenza Robert D. Sutherland

ISBN: 9780936044088

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The Farringford Cadenza  by  Robert D. Sutherland

The Farringford Cadenza by Robert D. Sutherland
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THE FARRINGFORD CADENZA is a suspenseful, humorous literary mystery which subtly skews generic conventions to continually surprise readers with reversals of their assumptions and expectations. Beneath the surface, the novel explores the consequencesMoreTHE FARRINGFORD CADENZA is a suspenseful, humorous literary mystery which subtly skews generic conventions to continually surprise readers with reversals of their assumptions and expectations. Beneath the surface, the novel explores the consequences of illusion and self-delusion, the many faces of deceit, and questions concerning peoples ethical responsibilities with regard to art and culture.

Background to Present Action In 1947, Charles Philip Farringford, one of Americas foremost composers, dies on a train returning home to New York after performing his as-yet-unpublished Fifth Piano Concerto on a concert tour of three cities. When his body arrives at Penn Station wearing pajama trousers backside front, there are two one-way tickets to New York in the sleeping compartment but no companion. Also missing is Farringford s suitcase, and with it the unique manuscript of the six-minute cadenza for solo piano which occurs in the concertos fourth movement. When, after intensive search, the cadenza manuscript cannot be found, the concerto is published in 1948 with a blank spot in the score where the cadenza would have gone- and performers must improvise their own cadenzas to fill the gap.

People in the three audiences who heard Farringford perform the cadenza attest uniformly that not only was the music exquisitely, sublimely beautiful, but hearing it constituted a peak experience which changed their lives in bene-ficial and empowering ways. For those who never had the chance to hear it played, the missing cadenza thus comes, in the ensuing decades, to have legendary, even mythic, status.

Thirty-four years after Farringfords death, a music student finds the cadenza manuscript in the false bottom of a piano bench in a Baltimore flea-market. Her musicologist professor holds a triumphal press conference to announce the discovery.

Immediately afterward, and before the concertos publisher can arrive from New York to claim the cadenza, the manuscript is stolen from the professors house in the first of three separate burglaries that occur on the same night.

Present Action The publisher and Farringfords widow, son, and daughter hire a New York firm of private investigators, N. F. Trntl Associates, to recover the manuscript. In Baltimore, Ms. Trntl is spied upon, confronted with shadowy misdirections and dead-end clues, entangled in two murders, and forced to deal with repeated attempts on her own life. As the search for the cadenza progresses, readers gradually come to realize (which Trntl never does) that at least ten distinct individuals and groups are avidly pursuing the manuscript for a variety of motives and purposes.

Most of these pursuers are not aware of the existence of the others, or become so only when their respective paths continually cross. All of the pursuers are aware of Trntl, however. Some want her to find the manuscript for them- some will use any means to prevent her from finding it, and some see her as a dangerous nuisance to be eradicated.

As she struggles to recover the cadenza for her clients while guarding her flank, Trntl continues to question what bearing the manuscripts unexplained disappearance in 1947 has on the puzzles and dangers she faces now. The action takes place primarily in Baltimore, with some occurring in New York City and some on the island of St. Croix.



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