Questions tagged [classical-music]

For questions on Western Classical Music in both, the narrow sense of the music between roughly 1730 and 1820, as well as the broad sense of any music written for an orchestra, or other instrument or instrumental group common during the Classical Period.

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52 votes
6 answers
7k views

What was classical music called back in the days?

What was classical music called back in the days? (Pre 1900s?) Was it divided in to genres as we do today, or was it simlpy categorized by the type of instruments used, or just "concert music". In ...
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31 votes
9 answers
14k views

Why doesn't anyone write great symphonies any more?

Most of the "great" symphonies stem from the 18th and 19th centuries. Shostakovich was the last great symphonic composer and he died in 1975. I'm not aware of anyone writing great symphonies since him....
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21 votes
0 answers
325 views

What is the title of this classic Russian(?) piano song? [closed]

I am trying to identify a song my mom played on piano when I was little. She learned it by ear approx 60 years ago in Canada (her cousin, also Canadian, taught her) and just knows it as "the russian ...
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  • 319
18 votes
9 answers
768 views

Has any instrumental music ever been used to carry information?

Music is often dubbed 'the universal language', but language usually carries some information. I know that music has many different notes, with letters and pitches assigned to each. Was there ever ...
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  • 291
16 votes
1 answer
598 views

What did Chopin think of the saxophone?

Adolphe Sax arrived in Paris in 1842, when Chopin had been living in Paris for some years. Both Chopin and Sax lived in Paris until 1849, when Chopin died. It seems highly likely that Chopin heard ...
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  • 281
13 votes
2 answers
401 views

Style of dress for a symphony orchestra

I'm an avid symphony patron, and I also watch different symphony orchestra recordings online. I've noticed that sometimes an orchestra will be in white tie, sometimes in black tie and other times ...
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13 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why is the Chaconne from Bach's Partita for Violin No. 2 so widely lauded?

I recently came across a recording of Bach's Partita for Violin No. 2, the fifth movement (the Chaconne), and upon researching it further, I learnt that it is often praised as a very important ...
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  • 131
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why do many vinyl albums place sides I and IV on one record and II and III on the other?

Why do many vinyl albums of classical music have Sides 1 / 4 on the first record and 2 / 3 on the second? An example of this is the RCA Red Seal recording of Beethoven's 9th Symphony by the Boston ...
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  • 141
10 votes
1 answer
260 views

Quote about classical music during the Industrial Revolution

I know, there's a (famous) composer who said that classical music during the industrial revolution should sound louder, because there was more noise (from machines) to be "good". I want to know who ...
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  • 133
9 votes
2 answers
237 views

History of Western Music: Audio or Video Lecture Series

In particular I am interested in lectures that cover the Major Eras (Early, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, etc.), i.e. a survey course. I very enjoyed Schickele Mix, and wonder ...
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  • 235
8 votes
2 answers
239 views

How did Gilbert and Sullivan protect their operas from pirates?

While watching some of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, I have heard repeatedly (including the extras on the DVDs) that Gilbert and Sullivan had a serious problem with people, specifically in the ...
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8 votes
1 answer
123 views

What year was the song Rafaga by Joaquín Turina song written?

Can anyone tell me what year the song Rafaga by Joaquín Turina was originally written. I think it was originally a piano song by the transcribed to guitar in the 1930's by Andres Segovia. Can anyone ...
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7 votes
2 answers
473 views

Antiphonal violins

I recently attended a performance of Beethoven's Eroica. Beethoven's Eroica with the CBSO under Jamie Phillips For the pieces in the first half, the orchestra was arranged in the usual fashion but ...
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  • 268
7 votes
2 answers
964 views

Why does every version of "Requiem" always include "Kyrie Eleison"?

I've heard/sung many different versions of "Requiem" (Mozart, Brahms, Rutter, Faure). They are usually sung in latin with the same lyrics, except "Kyrie Eleison" which is greek. So why is a greek ...
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  • 982
7 votes
1 answer
116 views

Which pianists of the 20th/21st century had the hardest upbringing?

I am looking for a pianist with difficult childhood. I would like to listen to his/her music and perform comparisons for my research. Is there a pianist you would like to recommend?
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7 votes
0 answers
72 views

In which of his works did Mussorgsky include features of human speech?

The wiki page on Speech-to-song illusion says: Many composers, including Gesualdo, Monteverdi, and Mussorgsky, have argued that expressivity in music can be derived from inflections in speech, and ...
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  • 193
6 votes
2 answers
79 views

Which part of Schubert's Symphony No.8 is unfinished?

There are many unfinished pieces by different composers such as Mozart's Requiem, Beethoven's Symphony No. 10 and etc. Most of the time, however, when I listen to these music, I don't find which part ...
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6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Slow and deliberate, hauntingly beautiful classical piece (identify from score) [closed]

Slow and deliberate, hauntingly beautiful. Can you tell me the name and composer of this piece of classical music I've tried to recreate from memory? I'll be eternally grateful, of course. https://...
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6 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why are pianists included in The Carnival of the Animals?

In Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals*, the 11th section is entitled Pianists. This may sound like a silly question, but why are pianists included as part of animals? *(video with audio and sheet ...
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6 votes
1 answer
170 views

What piece of classical music is quoted in Bela Fleck and the Flecktones' "Sinister Minister"?

This is from Victor Wooten concert, he and band "Bela Fleck" performs their song Sinister Minister. I believe this part, that's starts from 3:26, heavily inherits from classical music. And I do ...
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  • 203
6 votes
1 answer
219 views

Tchaikovsky opera opus numbers

Tchaikovsky wrote the opera Vakula the Smith in 1874. It was revised as Cherevichki (The Slippers) in 1885. "Vakula the Smith" is given Opus 14, and as far as I can tell "Cherevichki" has the same ...
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6 votes
1 answer
64 views

James Rhodes plays Chopin during Front Row interview, but can you identify the piece? [closed]

On BBC Radio 4 2015-08-31 Front Row did an interview with James Rhodes At 18m20s he introduces a piece he played for an agent, which he describes as a ridiculously difficult piece by Chopin. ...
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6 votes
0 answers
91 views

Please help me identify classical piece in background of item about Serena Venus [closed]

Please help me identify this piece, it begins at 8:23 From my own research: -It seems to be a wind quintet or possibly a subset of a larger ensemble (hopefully not) -...
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5 votes
2 answers
578 views

What does "classical" mean? Is Dvořák classical?

Would Antonín Dvořák be considered a 'classical composer', specifically thinking about the very American "New World Symphony". I have never studied music, so not sure of the different categories. E.g....
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5 votes
7 answers
831 views

Music with brutal and high variations of tempo and/or sound level and/or pitch [closed]

I try to give a hand to a friend who is preparing a talk about borderline personality in psychology. Particularly, she was thinking to highlight the emotional distress and instability with some ...
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5 votes
3 answers
141 views

How does 'meter' differ from 'rhythm', in music?

Source: The Complete Classical Music Guide (2012). General Editor: John Burrows OBE HonRCM, edited with Charles Wiffen MMus DMus RCM. pp. 14-16. Many human activities, such as running, walking, ...
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5 votes
2 answers
99 views

Religious music - one note for extended period

Can anyone point me to examples of the following: Vicars often sing before prayer (I think) in a particular style that focuses on one note for the majority of the phrase and then moves to maybe ...
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  • 51
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did Glen Gould record the full Liszt transcription of Beethoven's 7th symphony?

Disclaimer: My main reference for all facts in the question is wikipedia. In 1992 Glen Gould recorded (recording released by Sony) Liszt's transcription of Beethoven's 5th symphony. Roughly a year ...
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5 votes
1 answer
224 views

Who is the Elise that Beethoven composed about?

What is the history about the famous piano piece "Für Elise". Do we know who this lady that Beethoven immortalized was? Did he have a big, fat old crush on this lady? Was it a case of unrequited love? ...
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5 votes
2 answers
435 views

What piano piece is this? [closed]

https://youtu.be/Q21DmLCluhs this is a video I took of someone playing this song and I really want to know what it is so I can learn it.
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  • 69
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Please recommend: haunting or dark organ music

One image that has long stuck with me is Captain Nemo (from 20,000 Leagues under the Sea), up late, in his submarine, playing melancholy music on his undersea organ. I think the power of an organ ...
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  • 167
5 votes
2 answers
627 views

Why is Beethoven's Op 81 split into "81a" and "81b" instead of No. 1 and No. 2?

Beethoven has an Opus 81a (Piano Sonata No. 26) and Opus 81b (Sextet for Horns and String Quartet). Why is this Opus divided/labeled this way, instead of split into Numbers as opus cataloguing ...
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5 votes
2 answers
87 views

Music for relaxing mind? [closed]

After several hours work, sometimes a math book to concentrate, sometimes trivial admin stuff, I feel my brain disturbed, seems a voice or many voices is whirling inside. Could you pls recommend some ...
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  • 173
5 votes
1 answer
55 views

A recording session with Igor Stravinsky

At 32:47, Stravinsky, whilst recording his Symphony of Psalms, just before another take, says to the orchestra “I give you one bar for nothing in four and the bar before nine is in three, six.” ...
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  • 370
5 votes
1 answer
117 views

Violin melody - 2/4 time, D major

I'm looking for a piece for violin and accompaniment (piano or orchestra, I can't remember). The violin has a tune which, as far as I can remember, goes like this. Neither http://www.themefinder.org/ ...
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  • 299
5 votes
2 answers
122 views

Is there a recording of Beethoven's 9th - 4th Movment w/ no chorus

Title fairly well summarizes the question - I really enjoy Beethoven's 9th, esp. the 4th movement, and would really like to hear the orchestration without the chorus. I've tried some amount of Google-...
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5 votes
1 answer
550 views

What is the Sweelinck fantasia played by Glenn Gould?

Glenn Gould has a CD of early music in which he plays a piece by Jan Sweelinck simply titled "Fantasia in D." I have searched hard for this piece - it is not one of the other Sweelinck fantasias like ...
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5 votes
1 answer
190 views

Identify the music on Australian advertisement for Sidchrome spanners

Back in the 1980s or 90s, there was an advertisement on Australian TV for Sidchrome spanners. It showed a collection of spanners being made, starting with red hot metal being stamped out, then cleaned ...
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  • 181
5 votes
1 answer
683 views

Tease of a fugue in Beethoven's Hammerklavier

There's a passage approximately two minutes before the main fugue theme of the fourth mvt. in Beethoven's Hammerklavier op. 106; it lays out a brilliant theme for a fugue which is thereafter never ...
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5 votes
1 answer
295 views

Which classical singers are known for gentleness of vibrato (or even non-vibrato)?

I've never really found much access to classical vocal music – which is a shame, I suppose. Some works I find interesting, but I always get tired rather quickly (if not outright annoyed) when ...
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5 votes
3 answers
570 views

Has anyone recorded a cello version of Bach's Prelude No. 1 in C major (BWV 846)

Note: I really mean CELLO version! I'm sure I've heard it, but starting to think I imagine it. It's also called 'Prelude and Fugue No.1 in C Major, BWM 846'. I believe it's the warm-up piece Bach ...
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5 votes
1 answer
64 views

Operetta theme on piano/organ roll

This beautiful classical overture from opera or operetta has no name. I looked everywhere but can not find this music. If you know the name of this misic, please let me know. https://www.facebook.com/...
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5 votes
1 answer
67 views

Did "On the Media" misidentify this background music? [closed]

A recent "On the Media" segment identifies the background music as Shostakovich's "Second Waltz." I'm certain it's not the "Second Waltz" - at least not the famous one. But ... what is this music? ...
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  • 53
5 votes
1 answer
830 views

Beethoven's masses

I've checked on Wikipedia and other biographies on Beethoven but I can't seem to find any other masses he did apart from the one in C Major. Does anyone know any others or even better, could someone ...
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4 votes
2 answers
896 views

Can you identify cello and piano piece in last scene of Agatha Christie ABC Murders (v. 2018 John Malkovich)?

I thought I knew my classical music well until I heard this piece in the 2018 BBC/AMAZON PRIME VIDEO production of Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders with John Malkovich as Poirot. It is a cello and ...
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4 votes
1 answer
242 views

Classical piece used as hold music on call to local GP

I heard it while on hold calling my local GP. Very familiar sounding. I tried to Shazam it but didn't work. I put the first few notes into the sequencer.
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  • 207
4 votes
1 answer
721 views

How much of Opera is about sex?

We seem to think that so much of classical music is pure and noble but in my practice there seems to be a few common themes in Opera. Opera may very well be more Sex, Drugs and Rock'n'Roll than what ...
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4 votes
1 answer
400 views

Searching for a ballet: (nude?) female solo dancer on uneven surface (to Strawinsky?) [closed]

I know this sounds vague, but I have this memory of a video of an Asian (I think fully nude) female ballet dancer dancing on an uneven (wavy) surface to Stravinsky (Sacre du Printemps?) I remember ...
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4 votes
2 answers
382 views

Identify melody used in a production of Waiting for Godot for "the dog song"

I'm exasperatedly seeking the melody behind this scene in a BBC production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, starting here at the 1:04:18 mark. Singing more slowly, with a lilt, feels helpful. ...
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4 votes
1 answer
239 views

Are all ORIGINAL VERSION classical sheet music in the public domain? [closed]

I know that there is a law in US mentioning that any copyright of any musical composition drops by 70 years after composer's death. The point is that this law is ambiguous. I heard many viewpoints ...
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