Felix Arndt (1889-1918) was an unfortunately short lived American pianist and composer who was most known for his many popular songs and the rag Nola, but also dabbled in some light-hearted variations on classical music. This week we look at his An Operatic Nightmare.

Arndt was the child of immigrants, though few immigrants of the time could claim Napolean III as a relative! He performed regularly and was renowned as an accomplish pianist, as shown by the surviving piano roles based on his playing. Unfortunately, Arndt contracted the Spanish flu and passed away at the young age of 29.

An Operatic Nightmare takes a rag tinged look at popular operatic themes, giving an often humerous take on some very dramatic melodies. From the dramatic Miserere of Il Travatore to Mendelssohn's Wedding March to the Barcarolle from Offenbach's Tales of Hoffman, you'll experience familiar, but slightly off melodies. Some take a quick and startling turn as the mood shifts, while others give us a quick straight look at the theme before rag rhythms start to take over the character.

A recording was made of Arndt himself performing this work, a rare treat! Special thanks to the Library of Congress for the recording above featuring Arndt himself.