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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Our Man Wolfie

The Queen of the Night aria (AKA, Der Hölle Rache—The Revenge of Hell), from Mozart’s Magic Flute—I can no longer hear it in my head and I'm mighty pissed off about that too.

I remember, back in my music major days, being introduced to what was, apparently, an hilarious voice major in-joke— a recording of the Queen of the Night aria warbled almost entirely off-key.

Just think of the bodacious pipes, control and absolute talent this coloratura soprano must have had in order to strategically sing these insanely high, difficult notes just a bit off-key but only in precise places. It was brilliant and totally cringe.

My fellow musicians found it highly amusing. Me? I understood the humor—I got the joke. But I just wanted to hear it sung perfectly again and again and again. The Queen of the Night was brandy new to my ears and spectacularly, motherfucking brilliant.

Ya see, I was a college freshman and had only just become a fan of our man Wolfie Amadeus. Before then, my fave 18th century composers were Händel, Bach, Telemann and, of course, Vivaldi. Mozart just wasn’t my bag before that year. The Queen of the Night changed that.

Did you know? Mozart had a pet starling who could sing the opening theme of the finale of Piano Concerto No. 17, K. 453.

By the by, for breakfast each morning, Mozart had:

  • 2 cups of black coffee with a splash of goats milk
  • 3 squares of milk chocolate
  • an apple streusel
  • a single wienerschnitzel
  • Salzburger Nockerl (a sweet soufflé made from eggs)

I just knew you were rabidly curious about this so...yur welcome.

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