Saturday, September 30, 2017

September 30, 1791: Mozart's The Magic Flute premiered

Last updated August 27, 2018.

Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), opera, K. 620

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (composer)

Composed: 1791

First Performed: September 30, 1791

Sales: --

Peak: --

Quotable: “Among the greatest human documents” and “one of the greatest operas of the entire repertoire” – All Music Guide

Genre: classical > opera


  1. Overture. Adagio - Allegro
  2. Zu Hilfe! zu Hilfe! sonst bin ich verloren! (Introduction)
  3. Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja
  4. Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön
  5. O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn... Zum Leiden bin ich auserkoren
  6. Hm! hm! hm! hm! hm! hm! hm! hm! hm! hm! hm! hm! hm!
  7. Du feines Täubchen, nur herein!
  8. Bei Mannern, welche Liebe fühlen
  9. Zum Ziele führt dich diese Bahm (Finale)
  10. March. Adagio
  11. O Isis und Osiris
  12. Bewahret euch vor Weibertücke: dies ist des Bundes erste Pflicht
  13. Wie? wie? wie? Ihr an diesem Schrekkenort?
  14. Alles fühlt der Liebe Freuden
  15. Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen
  16. In diesen heil'gen Hallen
  17. Seid uns zum zweiten Mal willkommen
  18. Ach, ich fühl's, es ist verschwunden, ewig hin der Liebe Glück
  19. O Isis und Osiris, welche Wonne!
  20. Soll ich dich, Teurer, nicht mehr sehn? Ihr werdet froh euch wiedersehn!
  21. Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen wünscht Papageno sich
  22. Bald prangt, den Morgen zu verkünden (Finale)

Average Duration: 2:09:23


The Magic Flute is a two-act opera with both singing and spoken dialogue, or libretto, by Emanuel Schikaneder. Jakob August Libeskind’s story “Lulu or the Magic Flute” is considered a possible source for Schikaneder’s libretto. RS “Although overwhelmed by many adversities, Mozart found great joy in working” RS on the opera. It premiered at Schikaneder’s Theater auf der Wieden in the suburbs of Vienna on September 30, 1791. WK

The “story about good and evil” RS tells about a high priest named Sarastro who abducts Pamina, the daughter of the evil Queen of the Night. The queen sends Prince Tamino to rescue Pamina. Tamino not only falls in love with Pamina, but decides to join Sarastro, who he accepts “as the incarnation of truth and goodness.” RS “Tamino and Pamina undergo severe trials of initiation, which end in triumph, with the Queen and her cohorts vanquished.” WK “Tamino's counterpart is Papageno…whose earthiness counterbalances Tamino's idealism,” RS “fails the trials completely but is rewarded anyway with the hand of…Papagena,” WK “a female version of himself.” RS

has been called a Masonic opera: both librettist and composer were Masons, and the opera abounds with Masonic symbolism, culminating in the triumph over light over darkness. Although the Masonic flavor of The Magic Flute is undeniable, what makes it a great work of art is Mozart's unique ability to translate his humanistic ideals into music of extraordinary beauty and evocativeness. The fundamental theme of this opera is love, a theme to which Mozart fully dedicates his entire genius. To the listener, Mozart's ode to love brings eighteenth century opera in its full splendor. Not only is the music…enchanting and invigorating, but it also effectively coalesces with the story to create a powerful, convincing work of art.” RS

Review Source(s):


Related DMDB Link(s):

September 1826: Beethoven completes his string quartets, his final work

Last updated 11/20/2020.

String Quartets (16)

Ludwig van Beethoven (composer)

Composed: 1798-1826

Completed: September 1826

Peak: -- US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classical > chamber

String Quartets:

      Opus 18: (1801)

    1. String Quartet No. 1 in F major
    2. String Quartet No. 2 in G major
    3. String Quartet No. 3 in D major
    4. String Quartet No. 4 in C minor
    5. String Quartet No. 5 in A major
    6. String Quartet No. 6 in B♭ major

      Opus 59: Rasumovsky: (1808)

    7. String Quartet No. 7 in F major, Op. 59, No. 1
    8. String Quartet No. 8 in E minor, Op. 59, No. 2
    9. String Quartet No. 9 in C major, Op. 59, No. 3

      The Late String Quartets: (1825-26)

    10. String Quartet No. 12 in E♭ major
    11. String Quartet No. 13 in B♭ major
    12. String Quartet No. 14 in C♯ minor
    13. String Quartet No. 15 in A minor
    14. String Quartet No. 16 in F major

    Average Duration: about 9 hours


4.625 out of 5.00 (average of 6 ratings)


About the Album:

Beethoven’s first six string quartets, known as Opus 18, were composed between 1798 and 1800 and published in 1801. They fulfilled “a commission for Prince Joseph Franz Maximilian Lobkowitz, who was the employer of Beethoven's friend, the violinist Karl Amenda. They are thought to demonstrate his total mastery of the classical string quartet as developed by Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.” WK1

The seventh through ninth quartets, written in 1806, were commissioned by Count Andreas Razumovsky, the Russian ambassador in Vienna. They are referred to as the “Middle Period,” “Middle Quartets,” or “Opus 59: Razumovsky.” They were published in 1808 in Vienna. WK2

The final six quartets, or the Late String Quartets, were “Beethoven’s last major completed compositions. Although dismissed by musicians and audiences of Beethoven’s day, they are now widely considered to be among the greatest musical compositions of all time…and they have inspired many later composers.” WK3

Quartets 12-15 were commissioned by Prince Nikolai Galitzine. He was in failing health while writing them, being bedridden in April 1825 for about a month. His recovery is credited with the “deeply felt slow movement of the Fifteenth Quartet, which Beethoven called ‘Holy song of thanks (‘Heiliger Dankgesang’) to the divinity, from one made well.’” WK3

The Budapest String Quartet recordings from 1940 to 1952 of the complete cycle have “acquired legendary status” AZ having been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry in 2003. The New York Times wrote that they set “the modern standard of performance in the Beethoven quartets.” AZ

Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Concert: Wilco

image from

Venue: Midland Theater in Kansas City, MO

Opening Act: Creamer

I didn’t know a lot about Wilco, other than a handful of songs and their alt-country roots. I was surprised that the performance was much more electric and genre-bending than I expected. It definitely will get me exploring their catalog more.

Set 1:

1. Ashes of American Flags
2. If I Ever Was a Child
3. Cry All Day
4. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
5. Art of Almost
6. Pickled Ginger
7. Side with the Seeds
8. Passenger Side
9. Someone to Lose
10. Via Chicago
11. Bull Black Nova
12. Reservations
13. Impossible Germany
14. Whole Love
15. California Stars
16. Christ for President
17. Heavy Metal Drummer
18. I’m the Man Who Loves You
19. Casino Queen
20. Hummingbird


21. Random Name Generator
22. Jesus Etc.
23. Locator
24. Spiders (Kidsmoke)

Encore 2:

25. Monday
26. Outtaside (Outta Mind)

Today in Music (1967): The Box Tops hit #1 with “The Letter”

The Letter

The Box Tops

Writer(s): Wayne Carson (see lyrics here)

First Charted: August 12, 1967

Peak: 14 US, 13 CB, 14 HR, 1 CL, 5 UK, 11 CN, 4 AU (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 1.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 5.0 radio, 39.8 video, 119.57 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Alex Chilton, the lead singer of the Box Tops, was only sixteen when “The Letter” went to #1. Wayne Carson, who wrote the song, didn’t like the original recording because he didn’t think the boys’ voices sounded high enough. FB He thought Chilton sounded too “husky.” SF Indeed, Chilton sounds like a seasoned, veteran rocker, singing in “a gruff blue-eyed soul style.” WK The producer, Dan Penn, was convinced it was a hit record the way it was. Carson left the country for six weeks on a USO tour and when he returned the song was #4 on the charts. It turned out Penn’s instincts were right. FB

Carson also co-wrote “Always on My Mind,” which was a hit for Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, and the Pet Shop Boys. Carson was inspired to write “The Letter” based on the line “give me a ticket for an aeroplane,” which was suggested by his father. As Carson said, “He was a songwriter of sorts. He would come up with ideas and pass them on to me, and say, ‘If you can do anything with this, then go ahead.’” FB Carson wrote a song about “a guy who gets a letter from his former love telling him that she wants him back, and the guy wants to fly out and see her immediately.” SF

Carson gave a demo tape including the song to Chips Moman, who owned the American Sound Studio in Memphis. Moman suggested a local group (the DeVilles, later renamed the Box Tops) fronted by Chilton to studio associate Dan Penn, who wanted to produce more songs. The group came to the studio to record “The Letter” with little to no rehearsal. They mostly followed Carson’s demo with Chilton singing the vocal live. WK

Penn added the sound of an airplane taking off – an effect he got from a special effects record at the library. Carson thought Penn had lost his mind, saying the jet sound didn’t make sense. SF According to Penn, Moman had a similar feeling, saying, “That’s a pretty good little rock & roll record, but you’ve got to take that airplane off it.” Penn replied, “If the record’s going out, it’s going out with the airplane on it,” to which Moman responded, “Okay, it’s your record.” WK

Not only did the Box Tops take the song to #1, but Joe Cocker had his first top-ten hit in the U.S. with his 1970 recording of it. The Arbors had a #20 hit with the song in 1969.


  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for The Box Tops
  • FB Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 230.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

First posted 3/13/2021; last updated 9/14/2023.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Concert: U2

image from

Venue: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City MO

Opening Act: Beck

The one-paragraph review: “Beck – not the most dynamic performer, but great band and audience interaction. U2 – what I expected (which is a good thing). Band who can command an arena, fantastic on-screen visuals, and a high-energy performance.”

Set 1:

1. Sunday Bloody Sunday
2. New Year’s Day
3. Bad
4. Pride (In the Name of Love)

The Joshua Tree:

5. Where the Streets Have No Name
6. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
7. With Or Without You
8. Bullet the Blue Sky
9. Running to Stand Still
10. Red Hill Mining Town
11. In God’s Country
12. Trip Through Your Wires
13. One Tree Hill
14. Exit
15. Mothers of the Disappeared

Set 2:

16. Beautiful Day
17. Elevation
18. You’re the Best Thing About Me (new song)
19. Vertigo
20. Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
21. One

Saturday, September 9, 2017

“Despacito” logged its record-tying 16th week at #1


Luis Fonsi with Daddy Yankee

Writer(s): Luis Rodríguez, Erika Ender, Ramón Ayala (see lyrics here)

Released: January 12, 2017

First Charted: February 4, 2017

Peak: 116 US, 15 BA, 117 DG, 116 ST, 15 RR, 24 AC, 9 A40, 111 UK, 116 CN, 113 AU, 3 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 13.0 US, 3.0 UK, 36.1 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 8993.3 video, 3223.13 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

When “Despacito” was first released, Dance-Charts music critic Sebastian Wernke-Schmiesing said it “has the magic it takes to reach the world.” WK His words proved prescient – the song topped the charts in 47 countries WK and become, by some measures, the biggest song of all time.

Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi initially pnned the reggaetón-pop song as a ballad, but decided he wanted something more urban and danceable, so he contacted Daddy Yankee, with whom he’d collaborated on the 2010 “Una Oportunidad.” WK The upbeat track immediately made a splash on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart, debuting at #2. It went on to log 39 non-consecutive weeks at #1, putting it only behind the 41 weeks logged by “Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias with Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona in 2014 and 2015. WK

The song was also scaling the pop charts when an April 2017 remix, with added vocals by Justin Bieber, gave the song an extra boost. It became the first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart since 1996’s “Macarena” by Los Del Rio to be sung predominantly in Spanish. WK “Despacito” held on to the top spot for a whopping 16 weeks, tying “One Sweet Day” by Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey as the longest-reigning number one in the chart’s history. The video also reached new heights, becoming the most-viewed music video on YouTube in August 2017. WK It became the first video on the site to reach three, and then four, billion views. WK

In its review of the songs of the year, Time magazine said that “in a year where xenophobia reared its head worldwide, it inspires hope that the charts were dominated by such a universal, multicultural hit.” WK Desmond Child and Rudy Perez, the founders of the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame, said there hadn’t been a song since Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca” which had “the global impact of ‘Despacito,’ changing the course of pop music forever.” WK Billboard’s Jeff Benjamin said the song, which won Latin Grammys for Song and Record of the Year, signaled that “English is no longer a requirement for mainstream U.S. success.” WK


Last updated 7/22/2023.