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Ask MPR Mailbag

December 11, 2006

Can you help me find "Shelper's Bridal Nocturne" on the Web?

Hallo! A former South St. Paulite wishes to know about this "Shelper's Bridal Nocturne." On there's an A Bit of (Stephen) Fry and (Hugh) Laurie sketch entitled Piano Master Class and Laurie plays the first few measures of a cute little waltz they said was entitled "Shelper's Bridal Nocturne," but when I type it into a search engine, nothing comes up! :(

It sounds like it would be a great song to learn how to play. Thanks a bunch! :)

Philadelphia, PA

Dear Elizabeth,

Your question has baffled the most agile musical minds here at MPR. It doesn't seem likely that such a light musical confection would be called a "nocturne", so perhaps that is part of the joke. Shihan Rex Levang does not recognize the alleged composer's name, nor the alleged title of the composition, but says that it sounds very much like a salon piece from the 19th century. The video in question:

Rex suggests that you might consider posting this question on one of the Hugh Laurie fan sites (there are a number of them out there). Fans tend to squirrel away this sort of information, and they are usually eager to share their knowledge. In the meantime, if any of our Mailbag readers know the answer, I'm sure they'll let us know. And when we know, you'll know.

Michael Popham
Minnesota Public Radio Member Listener Services