Thursday, May 19, 2011

So Louis Stevenson wrote Treasure Island?

Twice in the last week, I've heard one of the rich-voiced announcers on our local classical music station refer to works by "Amadeus Mozart."

Okay, I looked it up, just to be sure. They called him "Wolfgang." He referred to himself as "Wolfgang." He never called himself just "Amadeus," and rarely, if ever, used his middle name in that form.

Of course, Amadeus means "beloved of God," which is why Peter Shaffer picked it up as the title of his play, and probably why since then, it's become an occasional and rather precious soubriquet for the great composer. But this is the Latin version. Wolfie was baptized "Theophilus," a Greek version, after a relative who used that form of the name. And during his lifetime, it was more often translated into German, as "Gottlieb."

Besides, W.A.M. can't afford to lose any more first names. "Wolfgang" is already his third. He never used the first two, which are basically Johann Chystostom. (I stole the latter for the middle name of my amateur detective, Oliver Swithin.)

Conclusion: the WQXR announcer is a pretentious git.

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