A Musical Joke (Divertimento for two horns and string quartet) K522
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

231

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A new entry for Mozart — and the 6th of his 19 entries overall.

Who says classical music can't be funny? Mozart's Divertimento for two horns and string quartet is peppered with quirky moments, guaranteed to provoke a smile among audiences. Mozart never revealed his exact motivation behind his 1787 work, but it's thought to be a bit of a dig at sub-standard players — the music is deliberately repetitive and clumsy, before collapsing altogether in the closing bars.

Portrait of a Jester with a Lute by Frans Hals (c.1624).