We had some friends of ours over for a dinner party on Sunday evening and for a postprandial divertissement we decided to listen to some classical music, because we’re super-cultured that way.
We put on an obscure concerto written by the Austrian composer, organist and master of musical theory and counterpoint Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (1736-1809). Albrechtsberger was well-known in his own day and had a number of illustrious pupils, including Ludwig van Beethoven. He succeeded Mozart as Kapellmeister of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna.
OK, let’s get real: we had our friends over for takeout pizza. We did listen to classical music, and it had this effect…
What’s so funny? Listen to at least a little past the 1:00 minute mark:
Albrechtsberger was inspired to write his concerto, one of at least seven for the jew’s harp and strings, when Emperor Joseph II returned from his own coronation enthused by a performance he had heard in a monastery by a jew’s harp virtuoso. Albrechtsberger’s star has dimmed, but his concerto for jew’s harp and strings is still moving urbane sophisticates to tears to this day.