Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
X-Rated Mozart: English Trombone Consort Series No.2: transcribed and edited for trombone (or trumpet) quartet or choir

Arranged by Ken Shifrin


Birmingham, , United Kingdom
Publisher: Virgo Music Publishers
Date of Publication: 2016

score and parts

Primary Genre: Trombone Ensembles

These are two of the more than 30 canons (rounds) that Mozart composed. The vocal canons employ a variety of texts ranging from sacred, to as in this case, the scatological.  Mozart displayed a penchant for this type of humor in a number of his letters and in a few of his vocal works, including these two canons.

Bona nox! bist a rechta Ox, K.561, (Good night! You are quite an ox) is a canon in A major for four equal voices, written in alla breve meter, with no tempo marking. This transcription is given in A-flat major, alla breve and is marked Andante moderato. The transcription states the entire 16 bar theme as a solo, then each of the parts enter after four bars. The original, bawdy lyrics are most likely by Mozart and include the words for good night in five different languages, Latin, Italian, French, English, and German. One can hear the original vocal version in a number of performances on YouTube. The transcription fits perfectly in the trombone range and works quite well musically.

Leck mir den Arsch fein recht schön sauber K.233/382d,  (Lick my ass right well and clean) is a canon for three voices in B-flat major. The original composer of the music for this piece is thought to have been one Wenzel Trnka. Mozart set the music later to his own text. The transcription keeps the key of B-flat and changes the original marking from Andante to Allegretto cantabile. It also contains a newly composed, optional fourth part by A.P. Taylor, added after all three voices have entered. This transcription also works well for trombones in terms of range, articulations and musical intent. Good music and no disclaimer needed when performing these instrumentally.

Reviewer: Karl Hinterbichler
Review Published November 9, 2019