Morning name: Kakadu

I see that WQXR (classical music in NYC) played Beethoven’s Kakadu Variations very early in the morning, while I was still sleeping, so the name probably seeped into my unconscious from the radio. In any case, the trio is a favorite of mine.

From Wikipedia:

“Kakadu Variations” is the nickname given to Ludwig van Beethoven’s variations for piano trio [piano, violin, cello] on the theme “Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu”  by Wenzel Müller. The variations were published in 1824 as Opus 121a, the last of Beethoven’s piano trios to be published. The work is notable for the contrast between its solemn introduction and the lightweight variations that follow.

… Like the introduction, [the] final [ninth] variation shows a chromatic and contrapuntal complexity that goes beyond what Beethoven achieved in his early works [most of the trio was written early in Beethoven’s career], and which likely reflects revisions made during his period of greatest maturity.

A performance of the work by a Romanian trio composed of Andreea Butnaru on piano, Alexandru Malaimare on violin, and Florin Mitrea on cello can be viewed in two parts: the bulk of the piece here, the ninth variation here.

On the name “Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu” (from Müller’s 1794 comic opera Die Schwestern von Prag ‘The Sisters from Prague’): Schneider is a German noun meaning ‘tailor’ (literally ‘cutter, one who cuts’); and Kakadu is neither scatalogical (evoking the German children’s word Kaka ‘poo, doo-doo’) nor onomatopoetic (like English cock-a-doodle-doo; the German for this is kikeriki), but is in fact the German noun Kakadu ‘cockatoo’. So: ‘I am Cockatoo the Tailor’.

On cockatoo, from NOAD2:

a parrot with an erectile crest, found in Australia, eastern Indonesia, and neighboring islands. [Family Cacatuidae (or Psittacidae): several genera and numerous species, including the sulfur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita).] ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Dutch kaketoe, from Malay kakatua, the spelling influenced by cock [‘rooster’]

So that word isn’t onomatopoetic either.

A sulfur-crested cockatoo:

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