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Lyrical Dissonance / Classical

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  • The words of the first number from Claudio Monteverdi's Scherzi musicali cioè arie et madrigali, "Maladetto sio l'aspetto", translate as "Cursed be the looks that have set my heart on fire. Alas! unhappy me, for I suffer cruel torment and will surely die, nor can any but you ease my suffering." while set to a lively and carefree melody in the major key.
  • From Puccini's opera Tosca: The evil chief of police plots to blackmail a woman into having sex with him in order to save the man she loves, then has the man killed anyway, while all around him parishioners beg for God's mercy, all set to some of the most gorgeously beautiful music the composer ever wrote.
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  • Also from Puccini, we have Turandot which gives us "Nessun Dorma", one of the most famous arias in all of opera... about the fact that nobody in Beijing is sleeping that night trying to find out Calaf's name because every man, woman and child in the city will be slaughtered if they fail to discover it by dawn.
  • Anna Russell's parody-Lied (German art song), entitled "Schlumph", is in a tragic musical style, with heavy chordal piano textures and doleful harmonies that never leave the minor key. The words are... rather silly, a combination of stereotypical tourist German vocabulary with pseudo-German gobbledigook. Incidentally, while "Schlumph" doesn't mean anything, schlumpf is German for "smurf".
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had quite the dirty mind, and thus gave us gems like ""Leck mich im Arsch", literally "Lick me in the ass". Coming out of a choir of school-age children, one must give pause.
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  • Franz Schubert's "Trout" lieder (not the piano-and-strings quintet, but the song it's based on) slips into this at the end. The singer starts by describing the titular fish in the stream and a fisherman trying to catch it. The song turns tense in the later half as the fisherman finally snags it, only to return to the cheery, upbeat motif as the singer recalls staring at the caught trout in outrage.

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