Further to my unresolved issues concerning conductors:
There was once this young couple who wanted to get a pet and they decided they wanted a parrot. Because they loved music, they especially wanted one who could sing. So they went to the pet store and told the owner what they were looking for. The owner brought out two parrots to show them.
The first one was very colourful and quite attractive, and the owner told them that he could sing perfectly any of Schubert’s songs on command. The price was $2000. The second parrot was even more attractive with brilliant colourful feathers. The owner told them that besides doing everything the first parrot could do, he could also sing any aria from any Italian opera on command with astounding musicianship. The price was $4000.
As impressive as these parrots were, they wanted to see at least one more before making a decision. They asked if there were any others available. The owner said that he had one more parrot but the price was very high, $8000. He brought it out from the back room. It was stunningly beautiful, with magnificent, iridescent plumage, shining in a rainbow of colours. It stood tall on its perch and strutted around with a pompous, regal bearing, aloof and incredibly proud of itself. “Wow!” the couple said, “What can he do?”
“Well,” said the owner, “He’s been here for a long time and as far as I can tell, he doesn’t do any damn thing at all. He just struts around with an incredible self-importance, eats nothing but the most expensive bird seed, and all the other parrots call him, ‘Maestro!’ ”