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Published on Mar 8, 2010
Although my father was capable of some puccaloistic whistling, most of my musical talent came through my mother, who played in a piano-laden ersatz orchestra in her youth, a not uncommon animal in those areas bereft of a bona fide heterogeneous ensemble, performing multi-piano arrangements of familiar melodies, such as her favorite, my countryman Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King, whose inexorably testosteronic accelerando rubbed her and her fellow pianistes to the brink of ecstasy. But the LP most in rotation in my boyhood home featured the trademark cascading strings of the Mantovani arrangements of Italian melodies, including Come Back to Sorrento, a calorie-lacking fluffball that I still cannot hear without bawling like a little baby, and a few flavonoids of which I have stolen for my variation here for an ensemble sadly lacking the three thousand strings necessary.