Life, Love, Long Hair, Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth, and other mysteries

All this and more, from a semi-Serbian, slightly sane, former editor for physicians and surgeons, who is the mother of seven kids.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Mozart and Me

I love the music of Mozart.

I can't remember when it officially entered my life.

It might have been from a cassette tapes sent to me by a pen-pal in those years.
Or maybe it was on one of the 33 RPM records I used to borrow from the library in my teen years and secretly listen to in my room.  (Hey, it wasn't cool for a Led Zeppelin-y person like me to admit to liking classical music in those days, but in retrospect, I see there is a huge correlation in the musical styles of classical-classical and some classic rock.)

Or it could have been when I, again secretly, listened to the Vancouver CBC Radio station that played classical music, which was where I first heard Chopin's "Butterfly Etude", (Etude in G-Flat major, Op 25, No 9) which was love at first listen.

But that is the only piece I recognize by Chopin.

Mozart, however, offers many a tune to my ear and heart which make me say, "Ah, yes, that's Mozart."

I learned to play a little bit of Mozart in the Royal Conservatory of Music piano lessons I took in my youth, but what I really wanted to play was his Fantasy in D Minor, for which I bought the sheet music contained in a book of many other pieces of his.

I finally came out of the closet with my love for Mozart when in my early 30s I bought a Sony Music Classics CD  "Mozart - Greatest Hits".

Many a time have I cranked that CD while driving in my truck, my children a captive audience in the back seat.

We didn't know the words in those foreign languages so we made up a few of our own.

Such as in Non Piu Andrai, from The Marriage of Figaro, an opera originally banned in Vienna because it is a satire of aristocracy, where, at the 0:13 point, my daughters and I said it sounded like they were saying...

"...and she said, 'Put the cheese on the wall.'"

I think it was my third daughter who made that one up, when she was about four years old.  It has stuck with all of us.  Even now, whenever we listen to it, we sing along with our "cheesy" lyrics.

It is a beautiful thing to drive with my ultra-cool teenagers, blaring a Mozart instrumental such as, oh, say the Overture to Le Nozze di Fagaro Overture K. 492, and singing along with every note -  that's right, it is an instrumental, yet we "sing" with words such as "da da da da da, doodle oodle oodle oodle oodle oot, la la la, la la la," etc.

At the :43 point, we do have some real words:  we sing, "Chicago, Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, noi-iii-oii-iii..." (etc...), and again at 3:58, where it fits twice, and a couple more rounds of it at 4:12.

Come on, doesn't everyone make up their own words to classical music?


If you do, please tell me about it - I'd like to shake your hand!


  1. You have a great writing style. I am sure I will be back. I have never really given classical music a try because it wasn't cool. I guess I will have to rethink that. Thanks.

  2. Came here from the CS messageboards ("Aelarat"). I love Mozart too and remember playing the D minor fantasy above (unfortunately, I sucked at the runs starting at 3:01). J.S. Bach is my all-time favorite, though.


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