I’ve been mainlining Shakespeare-themed operas all weekend, and have had the Chanson de Stéphano from Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette in the brain all evening. I figured I’d find a proper version to listen to, and found this one, which is so gloriously wonderful that I had to share it with you immediately!
… because even I have certain qualms about putting rude words in German into the title of my page.
I have a rather wonderful picture book called Faithfully Mozart (currently buried behind stacks of boxes), which is more or less his biography shown through the letters he wrote throughout his life and through a CD of music referred to in his letters. The letters are full of music gossip and opportunities that haven’t worked out and compliments paid to his music and the loveliness of his dearest wife, Constanze, and also fart jokes. Mozart did love a fart joke. In fact, he enjoyed jokes of all sorts, and he even wrote a quite lengthy symphonic musical joke, which was apparently hilarious at the time, but doesn’t make much sense to modern ears, as a lot of the rules he was gleefully breaking are pretty much ignored in much romantic and later classical music. (It does sound kind of bizarre and unbalanced and not quite right, I think, just not especially funny. Maybe one has to know a lot about music theory to recognise all the things he shouldn’t be doing? Oh, alright. The minuet is fairly amusing.).
You can tell I’m not coping with the weather – I can’t stick to a point to save myself and keep getting distracted. I blame the heat, which is making my brain melt out of my ears. Anyway, Mozart also wrote a number of silly and/or rude songs, and, much like those written by Henry Purcell and his baroque drinking buddies, they still sound like rather gorgeous classical music, despite their lyrical content.
A case in point: Continue reading