Page 52. " Continued in a subtler vein with Chopin's Nocturne in F Major. "

André Laplante – Nocturne In F Major, Op.15 No 1.  A nocturne is an instrumental composition with a dreamy character. It is usually evocative of the night. This piece was composed in 1832.

Page 53. " For a finale of fireworks, gambled on Scarlatti's 212th in A major, a bête noire of arpeggios and acrobatics. "

Baroque Italian composer Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). One of 555 sonatas written for the harpsichord.

Page 54. " J'ai appelé le poney Nefertiti, d’après cette reine d'Egypte qui m’est si chère, "
GNU Free Documentation License The iconic bust is currently on display in Berlin at the Neues Museum                                               Credit: Xenon 77

Translates as "I named the pony Nefertiti after this queen of Egypt who is so dear to me".

 Nefertiti (c. 1370 BC – c. 1330 BC) was the wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten. Together they helped alter the religious practises of Egypt, whose people went from worshipping multiple Gods to one chief God (Aten the sun disc), although this did not mean that they denied the existence of others. She is best known for her bust (see image left), which is frequently copied by artists and sculptors.  Nefertiti has variously been referred to as Possessed of Charm, Exuding Happiness, Mistress of Sweetness, beloved one, soothing the king's heart in his house and soft-spoken in all

Page 61. " Musicologically, he's Janus-headed. "
A bust of Janus, on display at the Vatican museums
Public DomainA bust of Janus, on display at the Vatican museums

In Roman mythology Janus is the God of gates, entrances, beginning and endings. 'January' takes its name from Janus, who in turn takes his name from the Latin for 'archway'. He is often depicted as possessing two heads, each facing in opposite directions.  

Page 62. " Augustowski's French is as good as my own, and we spent the afternoon fishing and arguing over the dodecaphonists. "

Arnold Schoenberg, a pioneer of the Twelve-tone technique
Creative Commons AttributionArnold Schoenberg, a pioneer of the Twelve-tone technique - Credit: Florence Homolka
The dodecaphonists advocated a "Method of Composing with Twelve Tones Which are Related Only with One Another" (Schoenberg 1975), and so would avoid using a particular key.  This style came to be especially influential in the mid-twentieth century.  

Page 63. " I'd taken Ayrs's Bible, Thus Spake Zarathustra, to the island stone slab bridge over the lake to the willow-tree island. "
Thus Spake Zarathustra
Public DomainThus Spake Zarathustra

A philosophical novel by Friedrich Nietzsche in which appears the famous pronouncement 'God is Dead'. The novel is often couched in biblical terms and yet undermines the teachings of Christianity. Zarathustra is the fictionalized protagonist. Mitchell states at the end of the book, 'The character Vyvyan Ayrs quotes Nietzche more freely than he admits'.

Page 64. " Ce lac appartient à ma famille depuis cinq siècles! Vous êtes ici depuis combien de temps exactement? Bien trois semaines! Alors vous voyez, je vais où bon me semble! "

Translates as something like: 'This lake has belonged to my family for five centuries! You have been here for how long exactly? Indeed three weeks! So you see, I'll go where I want!'


Page 64. " Ewing puts me in mind of Melville's bumbler Cpt. Delano in 'Benito Cereno', blind to all conspirators "

Herman Melville (1819-1891)
Public DomainHerman Melville (1819-1891)
In interview Mitchell states: 'My character Ewing was (pretty obviously) Melville, but with shorter sentences. Frobisher is Christopher Isherwood, especially in Lions and Shadows.' Benito Cereno is a short novel by Herman Melville, in which the captain faces a slave rebellion aboard a Spanish merchant ship. Melville was an American writer best known for his novel Moby-Dick (1851).

Page 65. " It borrows resonances from Wagner's Ring, then disintegrates the theme into a Stravinskyesque nightmare policed by Sibelian wraiths. "

Click to listen
Public DomainClick link

 The Ring of the Nibelung  is a cycle of four epic operas by the German composer Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883)


Click to listen
Public DomainClick link

Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (1882 –1971) - Russian born composer known for his dystopian compositions. Pokrovsky Ensemble – Les Noces, First Tableau


Click to listen
Public DomainClick link

 Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) - Finnish composer best known for the rousing Finlandia. Philharmonia Orchestra – Finlandia Op. 26



Page 75. " In the end, it was a Bach motet that shooed me away - choristers weren't damnably bad, but the organist's only hope for salvation was a bullet through the brain. "
A 'backstreet church' in Bruges, one of the many he might conceivably be describing
Creative Commons AttributionA 'backstreet church' in Bruges, one of the many he might conceivably be describing in this passage - Credit: Jim Linwood

A motet is a piece of choral music in several parts which takes as its source of inspiration the bible. Its history as a genre dates back to the twelth-century. There are six surviving Bach motets (some claim more). They are thought to have been composed for use at funerals.

Paul Hillier – Motet "Jesu, Meine Freude", BWV 227: Gute nacht, O Wesen