"I find The False Note an endlessly involving piece, and I feel it ought to be more widely known and celebrated. It is a kind of parable about money (we might better say 'currency') and the problem of evil: how a simple exchange of tainted money introduces a current of malevolence into social relations. Yet it resists a straightforwardly materialist analysis. As the Italian novelist Alberto Moravia read it, Tolstoy exhibits 'a strange conviction that every society creates evil according to some kind of natural secretion, as certain molluscs produce pearls'."
I might have said in the piece - but it was long enough already - that Robert Bresson's masterly 1983 film L'Argent is derived from the first of the two parts of The False Note, the setting transposed to contemporary France. Below, the last movement from L'Argent and the great Bresson in discussion of his work.