The Culture Club (13 May 2023)

Welcome to The Rhythm Section! The aim of this blog is to celebrate how music has shaped people’s lives over the years. Or, in the case of the Culture Club slot. centuries! How do you like a bit of classical?

Each week, I’ll present a tiny snippet from the enormous world of classical music. Usually, classical has a soothing, chilled effect, but beware: I may throw some curve balls at you! So, under that broad description of “classical”, expect anything!

The common thread, I hope, is your enjoyment.

One you’ll all recognise today. Mozart (1756 – 91) ‘s 1786 opera buffo, the Marriage of Figaro. I’ve linked to the complete piece, but beware – the full piece is 3h long. You’ll recognise the start, I’m sure, from Trading Places. Or Willy Wonka!

Isn’t it amazing how these masterpieces, hundreds of years old, still remain embedded in modern culture?

Now, a simple question for you. Post if you wish, but a comment will suffice. Mozart died aged just 35. It is 1750, and science is… shall we say… nowhere near as precise as it is today.

One theory surrounding his death (probably untrue, but why let the truth get in the way of a good story?) is that he was poisoned by a rival composer, Antonio Salieri.

Poor Salieri – Mozart’s death is his biggest claim to fame!

But talking of poison, what was your worst meal ever?

I’ll start the ball rolling. We were in the Pyrenees, a town called Arreau. On vacation, so we had a packed schedule. We’d just watched the Tour de France the day before. We went out to lunch where I ate the cassoulet. Even before I had finished the meal, my guts were bubbling. And by the time I got back to our hotel, I felt rough indeed. But, because there were things I wanted to do that afternoon, I had to force myself to be sick.

I’m convinced it would have happened sooner or later anyway, but by forcing the issue, I was at least able to reclain a portion of the afternoon. I skipped afternoon tea, though!


  1. I don’t recognise this at all, just to shoe my ignorance, is there action which goes with the music. Or is it just the music

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Morning, Pete!

    The worst meal I ever had was a ridiculously rich steak dish smothered in a creamy mushroom/onion gravy. While that might sound delicious to some of you, it doesn’t to me – at least not any longer. You see, that particular gravy went through me like a freight train. TMI, I know. Sorry!
    That meal really did a number on me and I ended up in the hospital with a nasty case of food poisoning and dehydration. It’s been 50 years since that happened and I have abstained from gravy of any kind ever since.
    It’s not a huge sacrifice for me to forego the turkey, chicken or beef gravy because I know what will happen if I don’t. As a result, I’ve come to appreciate the natural flavor of meat without all the sauces and gravies.
    The downside is I have nothing to dunk my biscuit in!

    If you’d like to read about this dining misadventure in its entirety, there’s a story on my website called “Hanky Panky”. What’s a blatant plug or two between friends? 😉

    This was a terrific post, Pete! The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro) is a comedic masterpiece. You can never go wrong with Mozart!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I love everything about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Opera buffa included.
    His was the first Complete works boxset I acquired…Ludwig came second!

    My stomach is currently upset… so I won’t even think about answering your question…and now, thanks Nancy😆 onions/ mushroons …🤢

    Liked by 2 people

  4. One of my favourite operas. It’s such a good farce. You just can’t go wrong with Mozart. I’ve just spent the last week was tummy trouble, so I’ll pass commenting on that. It’s just too unpleasant for words.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Some bug we picked up coming back home, somewhere between Denmark and the cliffs of Dover. It’s just the past few days that I’ve felt like eating. Peder recovered more quickly than me.

        Liked by 2 people

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