It’s too late for revenge. Giaccomo Rossini

Once Giacomo Antonio Rossini spent a quite evening at home. Suddenly he heard sounds of an old barrel organ under the windows of his house. It seemed to be a melody full of quite false notes. At first maestro couldn’t understand what the organ was playing, but the melody was repeated several times and so finally he realized that this whole bunch of false notes was in fact a fragment from his opera ‘William Tell’.

Such horrifying and impertinent distortion made the composer very angry. He hurried to open the window as he was going to banish a talentless organ-grinder from his sight. But in the very last moment Rossini changed his mind and with a very kind and cheerful voice invited he musician in. ‘Tell me please, my friend, what is your wonderful barrel organ playing? Isn’t it by any chance something from Halevy’ works?’ wondered maestro when his guest entered the house. ‘Of course it is! It’s a fragment from ‘Cardinal’.’ ‘That’s great!’ Rossini got even more excited. ‘And do you by any chance know where he lives?’ ‘Sure I do. And who doesn’t? Everybody in Paris knows this’ the organ-grinder shrugged his shoulders. ‘Excellent! I’ve got a great idea. Here’s a franc for you. I’m going to ask you to go there, to Halevy’s place and play his work ‘Cardinal’ for him. Play the same melody. But please do it at least six times! Is it a deal?’ The guest smiled cunningly and shook his head. Then he told the famous composer: ‘I’m sorry I can’t. In fact, it was monsieur Halevy himself who sent me here to play music for you. But he turned out to be more kind-hearted than you are because he asked me to play your overture only three times in a row.’