Eine kleine Nachtmusik


Yes, that one. When I was a tiny little Arjan, this music might have been the best known classical piece. Little children can dream this, older people might have nightmares about it. I just bought it that day because I recognised it and I wanted as many records I could get my hands on.

Eind kleine Nachtmusik is named that was because of a remark by Mozart in a catalog. Its actual title is Serenade no 13 in G. It consists of four parts, but some clever musicologist in 1971 made it one part longer, because in the same catalog Mozart says it consists of five parts. The second part was long lost, and still not performed many times.

This recording is from 1970, so was blissfully unaware of this new development.

Then there is the pianoconcerto no 21 on the other side. This has the famous “Elvira Madigan” theme, named after the film score for a film with the same name.

Elvira Madigan was a Danish circus artist in the nineteenth century. When she met the dragoon lieutenant Sixten Sparre he fell in love. Not just a bit, but totally. She was reported to have been very beautiful. Even though married with children, Sparre kept insisting, even though she wasn’t interested. It went so far that Sparre threatened to kill himself if she didn’t do as he asked.

She went with him when he was on leave in May 1889. They lived in a hotel for some time. Sparre didn’t have the money to pay for it though, so when the hotel presented the bill, they eloped. In Danish Sturm and Drang fashion he first killed her, then himself. It is unknown if she ever was really in love with him.


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