Happy birthday, Wolfgang

Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart was born in Salzburg, in what is now Austria, on this day in 1756. Although he lived only thirty-five years, he composed more music than one would think possible for a man who had lived a full three score and ten years. One of the most famous arias from one of his most popular operas is “Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen” (“Hell’s vengeance boils in my heart”) from The Magic Flute. Very few people are able to sing it, and I would hazard a guess that very few would be able to whistle it, either, but there is at least one — professional whistler Geert Chatrou. Here is his jaw-dropping performance of this diabolically difficult aria. If Mozart were still with us, I think he would approve.


3 Responses to Happy birthday, Wolfgang

  1. Wow. If we ever have another kid, we’ll have to throw in a lot of extra middle names that end in -us. Are you sure there wasn’t a Carackticus in there somewhere? Like Carackticus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?


    • Oh! Acidophilus! I’m naming my kid after a bacterium. That’s the way to give him that classy boost he needs in life so that he can compose timeless music or great literature and then die early. Sorry to hijack the thread with silliness. Great music! 😀


      • Loading a poor helpless newborn down with a whole bunch of names seems to have been rather a common thing in Mozart’s day. Nowadays some parents accomplish the same thing — i.e., making it impossible for the kid to sign his/her name on the dotted line, unless the dotted line stretches on for several inches — by hyphenating their last names, so they end up with Augustus Chelmsford Kensington-Staffordshire or some such.

        However, having saddled all four of my kids with three-syllable first names and two-syllable middle names even though they were already stuck with a three-syllable last name, I’m not really in a position to be throwing stones, am I?


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