Mozart’s sense of humor: jokes, riddles and toilet-humor.

Pianist Katie Mahan at Schloss Hellbrunn in Salzburg

Mozart’s sense of humor was off-color — adolescent and inappropriate by today’s standards. Some of his scores are riddled with good natured insults and jokes, especially his horn concertos that he wrote for a family friend, Joseph Leitgeb.

In Mozart’s notes about his Horn Concerto No. 3: “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart takes pity on Leitgeb, ass, ox, and simpleton, at Vienna, March 27, 1783.”

And this was tame compared to other things Mozart wrote about people.

Colorado pianist Katie Mahan is following in Mozart’s footsteps in Salzburg and says that Austria has been known throughout the centuries for its special kind of humor and jokes known as “Schmäh."

In fact, 150 years before Mozart, Archbishop Markus Sitticus built a “pleasure palace” where he could surprise his guests with pranks. In this week’s episode, Katie takes us to the Hellbrunn Palace where we get to discover magical grottos, a water-powered mechanical theatre dating back to 1750, and see the famous “Wasserspiele“ - trick fountains - in action.

Midday Mozart at Noon weekdays

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