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Archive for Ether Game

December 30, 2011

Puccini: La Bohème: Act III Quartet

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Love won and lost in the snow

December 29, 2011

Piazzolla: Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, Winter

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A spicy winter down south

December 28, 2011

Mussorgsky: Songs and Dances of Death, Trepak

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Death in winter. . .

December 27, 2011

Year in Review 2011

Can you guess this piece? Here's a hint: sometimes penny-pinching can lead to artistic inspiration...

December 27, 2011

Chopin: Etude No. 11 in A minor, “The Winter Wind"

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Keeping warm at the keyboard

December 26, 2011

Schubert: Winterreise, Frühlingstraum

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Let's just skip winter. . .

December 23, 2011

Bortniansky: Cherubic Hymn, No. 7

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Chubby little winged friends

December 22, 2011

Tartini: Cello Concerto in A, Allegro Assai

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A cocktail in La Brea.

December 21, 2011

Beethoven: 12 Variations on a Russian Dance

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Just something off the top of the head

December 20, 2011

Gifts

This ballet begins with the most wonderful thing in the world: presents! Family and friends arrive bearing season’s greetings and ready to party. During the festivities, a mysterious guest arrives with his own bag of gifts for the children.

December 20, 2011

Tchaikovsky: Final Waltz

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: sugar plums fairies and mice

December 19, 2011

Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter Overture

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: No bunnies were harmed in the writing of this composition.

December 16, 2011

Mahler: Symphony No. 1, "Titan," Excerpt

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: It's a rollercoaster ride of musical moods

December 15, 2011

Adams: Tromba Lontana

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Some very strange music for a celebration?

December 14, 2011

Gluck: Orpheus and Euridice: Excerpts From Act II

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Here are some very seductive harmonies

December 13, 2011

International Holidays

In France, the midnight service on Christmas Eve is traditionally followed by a meal called "Le Réveillon," during which many cafes and restaurants are open all night. When the play was adapted for this particular opera, this French custom was replaced by something more familiar to Viennese audiences: a ball!

December 13, 2011

Beethoven: Rage Over A Lost Penny

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Goodness! Calm yourself down!!

December 12, 2011

Richard Strauss: Don Juan, Excerpts

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Don't fall for this guy's seductive ways

December 9, 2011

Janacek: Prelude, From The House Of The Dead

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Out of a grave situation

December 8, 2011

Dufay: Nuper Rosarum Flores

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: An over-arching structure

December 7, 2011

Giovanni Gabrieli: Canzona No. 14

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Sacred surround sound

December 6, 2011

Hymns

Can you guess this piece? Here's a hint: An early Top Ten hit...

December 6, 2011

Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition: Great Gate Of Kiev

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: It looked good on paper!

December 5, 2011

Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: An ode to modern America

December 2, 2011

Adams: El Niño, "Woe unto them that call evil good"

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: This is not the semi-regular weather pattern of the Pacific Ocean

December 1, 2011

Rubinstein: The Demon, Caucasian Dance

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A pianist conjures up diabolical themes

November 30, 2011

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, Witches' Sabbath

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Double, double, toil and trouble!

November 29, 2011

The Great, White North

This composer was also one of the most noted violin virtuosi of his time. One witness claimed that his cadenzas “really terrified me because such [cadenzas] have not been nor can ever be played.” This virtuosity translated into his compositions as well, as is evidenced in this piece.

November 29, 2011

Haydn: Symphony No. 96, Fourth Movement

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: It's simply inexplicable!

November 28, 2011

Paganini: Violin Concerto No.2, "La Campanella"

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Deal or no deal, this guy can play!

November 25, 2011

Rodgers and Hart: Boys From Syracuse: “Oh, Diogenes”

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: an Elizabethan gets a jazzy Greek makeover…

November 24, 2011

Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 4, Third Movement

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: two brothers, three arms…

November 23, 2011

Leonard Bernstein: Candide, Overture

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a very “green” philosophy…

November 22, 2011

All You Can Eat!

This composer loved food as much, or maybe even more, than he loved music. In one letter, he raced through a description of the opening of a new opera, so that he could write about a new salad recipe. His favorite dishes were turkey stuffed with truffles and most anything with foie gras. He even had many different dishes named after him!

November 22, 2011

Richard Strauss: Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: some very ancient wisdom given a modern twist…

November 21, 2011

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Bastian and Bastienne, Overture

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a “social contract” is okay, but opera singers prefer the real thing…

November 18, 2011

Porter: I’ve Got You Under My Skin

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: there ain’t no cure for it…

November 17, 2011

Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor, Mvt. 3

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a troubled genius…

November 16, 2011

Bizet: Carmen, Chorus of Cigarette Girls

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: smoke ‘em if you’ve got ‘em…

November 15, 2011

Drink Up!

The composer's first symphony was a flop. Critics and audiences were universal in their disdain: the young composer was crushed, and did not compose until nearly three years later. The causes of the failed premiere were several: the style of this composer was different, and it didn't help that the conductor of the premiere was drunk on the podium..

November 15, 2011

J. S. Bach: “Coffee” Cantata, Mvt. 4

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a Baroque “buzz”…

November 14, 2011

Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, “Chocolate”

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a Christmas favorite keeps us coming back for more…

November 11, 2011

Loesser: Baby, it’s Cold Outside

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: daughter of the above…

November 10, 2011

Holst: The Planets, Neptune

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a “mystic” outsider…

November 9, 2011

Messiaen: Catalogue of Birds, The Reed Warbler

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a bird of a different color…

November 8, 2011

Fund Drive!

It's that one time of the year when we ask you to call in with a pledge of support for WFIU and the musical fun and frustration you enjoy from Ether Game!

November 8, 2011

Offenbach: Tales of Hoffmann, The Birds in the Tower

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: the amazing wind-up soprano…

November 7, 2011

Beethoven: Symphony no. 5, Mvt. 1

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: who’s that knocking?

November 4, 2011

Britten: War Requiem, Sanctus

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A composer lashes out at the terrors of war…

November 3, 2011

Donizetti: Daughter of the Regiment, Overture

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Slapstick on the battlefield…

November 2, 2011

Monteverdi: Madrigals of War and Love, “I burn, I rage”

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Fiery passions burn in Italy…

November 1, 2011

Stealing!

Can you guess this piece? Here's a hint: or St. Petersburg

November 1, 2011

Beethoven: Wellington’s Victory, Victory Symphony

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: It’s one of the first orchestral showstoppers

October 31, 2011

Gounod: Faust, Soldier’s Chorus

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Marching to a very operatic beat

October 28, 2011

Rodgers and Hart: You Are Too Beautiful

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: you ain’t remembered nothin’ yet…

October 27, 2011

Ives: The Circus Band

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: the Memory Circus is coming to town…

October 26, 2011

Gottschalk: Memories of Havana

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: New world recollections…

October 25, 2011

Headless Harmonies

This composer, or rather, the fictional “artist,” reflects upon love, losing, and murdering of a “beloved” who is depicted by a recurring musical theme. In this movement, the artist has taken opium and, in his drug-induced dream, has killed his beloved. He is then a witness to his own execution as he marches up the scaffold steps to be beheaded.

October 25, 2011

Liszt: Reminiscences of Don Juan

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: remembering opera on the keyboard…

October 24, 2011

Schubert: Winterreise, "The Linden Tree"

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: come inside and warm up!

October 21, 2011

Praetorius: Terpsichore, Entry And Courante

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: It’s a Renaissance dance party!

October 20, 2011

Mendelssohn: Scottish Symphony, Second Movement

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Music from the Highlands

October 19, 2011

Hildegard of Bingen: Play Of Virtues

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: She’s sure preaching to the choir

October 18, 2011

Mozart: The Abduction from the Seraglio, Overture

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Opera goes Deutsch!

October 17, 2011

Beethoven: Ninth Symphony, Ode To Joy

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A piece that breaks all barriers

October 14, 2011

Steiner: Gone With The Wind, Main Title

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Oscars for (almost) everybody!

October 13, 2011

Bernstein: Suite from “On the Waterfront”

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a “contender” of a film score…

October 12, 2011

The Mighty Dollar

Around the time this composer began this symphony, he got married, but it was a failure, in part because his sexual proclivities lay elsewhere. With a spiral into depression and attempted suicide, the symphony was understandably put on hold. By the end of the year, however, he had found encouragement from a generous (and wealthy) patron.

October 12, 2011

Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: playing on the keys of history…

October 11, 2011

The Art Of Construction

In 1857, with the first two operas of a larger cycle completed, the composer left our teaser partway through Act II, and did not return to his hero until 1869. In the meantime, this composer wrote two operas, his marriage fell apart, he was kicked out of Vienna for debt, and he acquired his most influential patron, King Ludwig II of Bavaria.

October 11, 2011

Puccini: La Bohéme, “O soave fanciulla”

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: music therapy, Italian-style…

October 10, 2011

Mozart: Serenade for Winds, K. 361

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a first-rate film about being second-best…

October 7, 2011

Antheil: Ballet Mechanique

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: “Paris, we have lift-off…”

October 6, 2011

Biber: “Mystery” Sonata 3, “The Nativity”

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: in- and out-of-tune…

October 5, 2011

Superstar Syndrome

The technique of this composer and performer was so frightfully good that many claimed that he was in league with the Devil. His flashy first violin concerto is filled with deft maneuvers like left hand pizzicato, rapid thirds, and an abundance of harmonics. These techniques led many of his contemporaries to call the concerto unplayable.

October 5, 2011

Mahler: The Miller, "Sorrowful Song”

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: familiar instrument, made from gruesome stuff.

October 4, 2011

J. S. Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier II: Prelude in c sharp

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: fully functional…

October 3, 2011

Beethoven: Wellington's Victory

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: music that really makes a “bang”…

September 30, 2011

Berg: Seven Early Songs, "Night" and "Summer Days"

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: youthful efforts get a second look…

September 29, 2011

Bizet: The Pearl Fishers, "I Believe I Hear Again Her Voice”

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: what kind of hero is named “Nadir”?

September 28, 2011

Borodin: Prince Igor, Konchakovna’s Aria

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a musically moonlighting scientist…

September 27, 2011

That's Ancient History

In this piece, the goddess Minerva reawakens in modern Greece and is devastated to find her homeland occupied by the Ottoman Turks. Luckily, Minerva is reassured that the light of Classical Greek culture has conveniently been passed on to the Austrian empire.

September 27, 2011

Brahms: Symphony 1, First Movement

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: an application for admission into the “B” club

September 26, 2011

Beethoven: To The Distant Beloved

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: no cuts allowed!

September 23, 2011

Elgar: Pomp And Circumstance, March No. 1

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Come and get your diploma!

September 22, 2011

Grainger: Molly On The Shore

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A musical stroll by the seashore

September 21, 2011

Bach: Christmas Oratorio, "Glory To Thee"

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Preaching to the choir!

September 20, 2011

Afterlife

This composer's operas were more popular outside of his hometown; in fact, and earlier opera had been a huge hit in a Bohemian city, leading to a commission for an operatic premiere. The composer's response to this commission was to produce what has probably become the most well-known telling of the tale of an infamous lover.

September 20, 2011

Brahms: Academic Festival Overture

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Graduation gone wild!

September 19, 2011

Lerner And Loewe: My Fair Lady, Excerpts

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Watch what you say!

September 16, 2011

Gershwin: Girl Crazy, “But Not For Me”

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: mad for the ladies…

September 15, 2011

Britten: Rejoice In The Lamb

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a spiritual game of ‘cat-and-mouse’…

September 14, 2011

Handel: Orlando, Act II Conclusion

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: saving poor Roland from himself…

September 13, 2011

Based On The Book

The score for this film was nominated for an Oscar, but lost to another movie just as popular. If sheer musical girth had been a factor, the score heard here certainly would have won as it is present under nearly the entire movie, just under four hours of music. Even more amazing, the composer worked on eleven other film scores in this same year.

September 13, 2011

R. Schumann: Cello Concerto

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: rough mental waters ahead…

September 12, 2011

Richard Strauss: Don Quixote

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: sorrowful countenances and agile windmills…

September 9, 2011

Prokofiev: “The Crusaders In Pskov” From Alexander Nevsky

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: history meets the movie soundstage

September 8, 2011

Offenbach: “Can-Can” from La Gaité Parisienne

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: from the dance hall to the concert hall

September 7, 2011

Handel: 12 Variations on “See the Conquering Hero Comes”

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: musical down-sizing, anyone?

September 6, 2011

Before Email

While finishing up this selection in a village outside Vienna, this composer also wrote a strange document that he never sent. It contains the composer's realization of that his worsening condition. Of course, that wasn’t his only mysterious letter – there’s still the one addressed to an unknown someone.

September 6, 2011

Robert Schumann: Dichterliebe

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A meeting of music and theater

September 5, 2011

Gershwin: Suite from Porgy and Bess

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Broadway meets the bayou

September 2, 2011

Mozart: Marriage Of Figaro, Overture

Here’s a hint: A musical password or A candy maker should have good taste both in sweets and music!

September 1, 2011

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1

Here’s a hint: Don’t “Egg” us on... or Good chocolate and good music go hand-in-hand

August 31, 2011

Humperdinck: Hansel And Gretel, Excerpts

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A fairy tale gets the operatic treatment

August 30, 2011

Dog Days

Although these concertos were originally published side-by-side with several others, four have been singled out and become a set. In the score, each concerto is accompanied by a poetic sonnet, possibly by the composer himself! But because of the massive amount of anonymous poetry in print from this period, it is likely we will never know for sure.

August 30, 2011

Ellington: Peanut Brittle Brigade

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A jazzy twist on a Christmas classic

August 29, 2011

Strauss: Capriccio, Prelude

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Not exactly a diva.

August 26, 2011

Floyd: Susannah, Ain’t It A Pretty Night

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Trouble in the deep south. . .

August 25, 2011

Vaughan Williams: The Lake In The Mountains

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A musical oasis. . .

August 24, 2011

Strauss: Alpine Symphony

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Dude, check out THIS view!

August 23, 2011

Famous Johns

It can be hard to imagine the thorough craftsmanship, practical ingenuity, and innate sense of artistry that had to be available on a tight schedule in the world of this composer. However, he probably had a little more time than usual to work on his first large-scale work for his post in Leipzig.

August 23, 2011

Haydn: The Creation, "Sing To The Lord"

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: God takes a much-needed break . .

August 22, 2011

Beethoven: Symphony No 6, First Movement

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Green acres is the place to be. . .

August 19, 2011

Linke: The Glow Worm

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: you light up my life…

August 18, 2011

Britten: O Rose, Thou Art Sick

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: never trust a worm…

August 17, 2011

Bach: Through Adam’s Fall

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: was that ‘hiss’ just a leaky organ pipe?

August 16, 2011

Handel: Israel In Egypt, He Spake The Word

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: buzzing and croaking our way out of captivity…

August 15, 2011

Telemann: Concerto In A Major

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Hundreds of concertos? We’ll ‘hop’ right to it

August 12, 2011

Arlen and Harburg: Lydia, The Tattooed Lady

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a picture that looks back…

August 11, 2011

Debussy: Girl With The Flaxen Hair

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: picture or no picture…

August 10, 2011

Monteverdi: Eyes That Were Once My Life

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: merrie Mantuan melodies…

August 9, 2011

On Vacation!

The Alps is one of the greatest mountain ranges in Europe, and is a favorite vacationing spot for hikers and skiers alike. For our composer, the grandiosity of the Alps could only be matched by a composition of mammoth proportions played by an equally grand orchestra. The work requires 120 or more musicians and unusual percussion instruments.

August 9, 2011

Bach: St. Matthew Passion, O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: “holy” corporeal…

August 8, 2011

A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi"

Can you guess this piece? Here's a hint: a philosóphe on the loose!

August 8, 2011

Handel: Messiah, How Beautiful Are The Feet

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a theology, not a fetish…

August 5, 2011

Simon and Garfunkel: Homeward Bound

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: heading home in two-part harmony…

August 4, 2011

Harris: When Johnny Comes Marching Home

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: home from the All-American conflict…

August 3, 2011

Wagner: Mastersinger of Nuremberg, Overture

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: homesteading at the old “Chorale”…

August 2, 2011

Thrilling Exploits

While stories of heroic courage, loyalty, and thrilling adventure are universal, similarities between the figures of the cowboy and the Japanese samurai have inspired several specific cases of cross-cultural borrowing.

August 2, 2011

Gottschalk: Caprice On "Home Sweet Home"

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: home in the U.S.A., but made in Europe…

August 1, 2011

Verdi: Nabucco, Va Pensiero

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: enslaved and homesick…

July 29, 2011

Berg: Round Dance

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: These guys loved to push the musical envelope!

July 28, 2011

Poulenc: Gloria

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Church music with a 20th century twist

July 27, 2011

C.P.E. Bach: Flute Concerto

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: It’s all in the family

July 26, 2011

Sport of Kings

In the hands of our composer, this story originally by Voltaire still managed to retain its satirical edge. In the scene we just heard, our world-traveling hero lands in Venice. There, he is drawn into the cynical world of gambling and corruption, set to the spin of the roulette wheel.

July 26, 2011

Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov, Monologue

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A salute to the history of the Motherland

July 25, 2011

Mozart: Magic Flute Overture

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Fantasy and philosophy take the stage

July 22, 2011

Elfman: Nightmare Before Christmas, Oogie Boogie Song

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: stop-motion show-tunes…

July 21, 2011

Herrmann: Suite from Psycho

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: nothing like a nice refreshing shower…

July 20, 2011

Mussorgsky: Night On Bald Mountain

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: beware the summer solstice!

July 19, 2011

Classics At The Movies

This operatic chorus was written directly into the script of a famous Vietnam War film, taking it out of the realm of mythology and into horrifyingly realistic conflict. But the work probably didn’t need the added publicity. The opera in which it appeared was part of a cycle of works that revolutionized the genre.

July 19, 2011

Saint-Saens: Danse Macabre

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: sinister steps…

July 18, 2011

Beethoven: Ghost Trio

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: music that goes “bump” in the night…

July 15, 2011

Shostakovich: Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: The truth comes out. . .

July 14, 2011

Barber: School For Scandal, Overture

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: It’s a great first effort!

July 13, 2011

Strauss: Salome, Finale

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: EEEEWW!!

July 12, 2011

Pet Sounds

This composer wrote scores for eight films. While some studios avoided him for being too “modern,” the popularity of his works led to studios frequently seeking him to compose for films on specifically American subjects. The novels of American John Steinbeck made ideal subjects for this composer's style.

July 12, 2011

Monteverdi: Cruel Amaryllis

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: This guy loved to break the rules.

July 11, 2011

Stravinsky: Rite Of Spring, Sacrificial Dance

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: It’s the ultimate musical shocker

July 8, 2011

Kern and Fields: Pick Yourself Up

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: fancy footwork…

July 7, 2011

Ives: Concord Sonata

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: talkin’ bout the birds, bees, and tone clusters…

July 6, 2011

Brahms: German Requiem, Excerpts

Here’s a hint: wisdom and comfort auf deutsch… or, not just any old funeral dirge

July 5, 2011

The New World

Don’t think too hard—you might burn a hole in your ten gallon hat

July 5, 2011

Mahler: Symphony No. 3

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: what the little kids tell me…

July 4, 2011

Beethoven: Creatures Of Prometheus, Overture

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: keep the fires burning…

July 1, 2011

Satie: La Belle Excentrique

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A night out in the city of love

June 30, 2011

Beethoven: Creatures Of Prometheus

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A ballet of mythological proportions!

June 29, 2011

Adams: The Chairman Dances

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: 20th century history with a jazzy twist

June 29, 2011

I Do!

Our composer was thirty three years old when he was asked to compose incidental music for a production of Shakespeare’s immortal comedy. Reusing a brilliant overture he had written when he was just seventeen, the composer added twelve more sections that were the perfect transport to the fairy world of Shakespeare.

June 28, 2011

Mozart: Don Giovanni, Act I Excerpt

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: So many options to choose from. . .

June 27, 2011

Bernstein: Mambo

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: So you think you can dance on the Great White Way?

June 25, 2011

Ellington: Solitude

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a “regal,” but lonely tune…

June 23, 2011

Shostakovich: Alone

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: in Siberia, you need all the friends you can get…

June 22, 2011

Health And Wealth

This symphony was begun during a dark period in the composer’s life. Around the time he made initial sketches, the composer decided to try getting married. With his health failing, and spiraling into depression and attempted suicide, the symphony was put on hold. But by the end of the year, he found encouragement from a wealthy patron.

June 22, 2011

Brahms: Piano Pieces

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: just good friends…

June 21, 2011

Offenbach: Robinson Crusoe Excerpts

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: only alone on paper…

June 20, 2011

Tchaikovsky: Songs

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: only the organs know…

June 17, 2011

Johnny Cash: Folsom Prison Blues

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a captive audience…

June 16, 2011

Weill: Three-Penny Opera

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a nasty note from the 18th century to the 20th …

June 15, 2011

Handel: Admeto Excerpt

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: from defenestration to operatic elation…

June 15, 2011

Wet And Dry

This choral work uses the idea of dryness to examine man’s self-awareness and discipline. The composer has explained his title, coming from a book of poetry, with allusions to various religious figures and atomic testing. This piece also marks the composer's transition in the 1980s from electronic music towards more traditional musical genres.

June 14, 2011

Richard Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a roguish rondo…

June 13, 2011

Mozart: Don Giovanni

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a misbehaver with the list to prove it…

June 10, 2011

Williams: Harry Potter, Hedwig's Theme

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: close encounters of the Wizard kind…

June 9, 2011

Prokofiev: Peter And The Wolf

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: happy hunting!

June 8, 2011

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

This composer has written for television, from one of his earliest composing jobs on the show “Lost in Space” to, more recently, theme music for the NBC nightly news. He has composed for civic functions, such as the rededication of the Statue of Liberty. He also composed the popular fanfare “Summon the Heroes” in 1996.

June 8, 2011

Ravel: Mother Goose

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: music that doesn’t “lay an egg”…

June 7, 2011

Vivaldi: Judith Triumphant

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: musical literature fresh from the presses…

June 6, 2011

Mahler: Symphony 1, Third Movement

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: some morbid children’s literature…

June 3, 2011

Little Richard: Tutti Frutti

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: An ice cream lover’s delight.

June 2, 2011

Strauss Jr: Wo Die Zitronen Blühen

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: The sweet smell of success.

June 1, 2011

That's All Folks

In 1913, this composer used the traditional English melody "Greensleeves" in his incidental music for three of his stage works. From the third setting of the folk melody, the composer arranged the song for orchestra and used a traditional tune from Norfolk entitled "Lovely Joan" as a contrasting middle section of the work.

June 1, 2011

Gilbert and Sullivan: Pineapple Poll, Belaye’s Hornpipe

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Tropical delights.

May 31, 2011

Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker, Dance Of The Sugar-Plum Fairy

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A sweet little soiree

May 30, 2011

Prokofiev: Love For Three Oranges

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A healthy dose of Vitamin C.

May 27, 2011

Mozart: Marriage Of Figaro, Overture

Here’s a hint: Nuptials after a shave and a haircut?

May 26, 2011

Rimsky-Kosakov: Spanish Capriccio

Here’s a hint: It’s time for a siesta and A little Iberian bedroom music.

May 25, 2011

Bringing May Flowers

This work is best known today as a concert work. But the original work was a ballet whose revolutionary choreography was as least as controversial than the music that accompanied it. It has even been speculated that the riot that erupted was entirely prompted by the choreography, as the riot would have made hearing the music nearly impossible!

May 25, 2011

Bach: Goldberg Variations

Here’s a hint: Some seriously drowsy variations or Better than a glass of warm milk.

May 24, 2011

Stravinsky: Soldier's Tale

Here’s a hint: Music to cure all ills or When Igor comes marching home again.

May 23, 2011

Puccini: O mio babbino caro

Here’s a hint: Over his dead body! or Where there’s a “will” there’s a way.

May 20, 2011

Whitacre: Leonardo Dreams Of His Flying Machine

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Inside the mind of a true Renaissance man!

May 19, 2011

Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 2

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A dark piece from a dark time in history.

May 18, 2011

Beethoven: Wellington's Victory

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: It’s one of the first big orchestral showstoppers

May 17, 2011

Saints Alive!

During the 1940s, our composer turned his music to religious subjects. This piece, composed in 1942, interspersed three poems, each followed by an invocation to Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music. This composer spent some time at a house in New York that became famous as a center of artistic life.

May 17, 2011

Berlioz: The Death Of Cleopatra

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Death in the desert. . .

May 16, 2011

Copland: Lincoln Portrait

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A great American salutes another great American

May 13, 2011

Carmichael: Stardust

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a Hooiser boy does some astronomical cleaning…

May 12, 2011

Arr. Stravinsky: Star-Spangled Banner

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: arranged by an emigrant “star” of modern music…

May 11, 2011

Holst: The Planets, Jupiter

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: fifth rock from the sun…

May 10, 2011

A Little Romance

This collection was assembled over three years, the first book containing many types of compositions, the second containing a mixture of composers. They were anthologies—a romantic gift presented by a loving husband to his wife. While they contained mostly keyboard music, there were also a few arias mixed in, too.

May 10, 2011

Williams: Star Wars, Main Title

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: in a galaxy far, far away…

May 9, 2011

Mozart: Variations on “Ah, Vous Dirai-Je, Maman"

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A little ditty with star quality!

May 6, 2011

Stevie Wonder: Black Orchid

Here’s a hint: plants have feelings too…

May 5, 2011

Bernstein: Make Our Garden Grow

Here’s a hint: pruning the evils out of life…

May 4, 2011

Debussy: Gardens in the Rain

Here’s a hint: gloomy weather…

May 3, 2011

Scramble!

The composer's set of sacred concertos was initially written for the court of Mantua. Following some tension with his employers, he traveled to Rome and presented the music to the Pope. The Mantuan court suspected that he might have been angling for a position at the Vatican. But this composer secured a job at the cathedral of St. Mark's in Venice.

May 3, 2011

Biber: Agony in the Garden

Here’s a hint: this garden isn’t for the faint of heart…

May 2, 2011

Mozart: Overture to "The Feigned Gardener"

Here’s a hint: what love grafts together, let no one shear apart…

April 29, 2011

Queen: We are the champions

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Like Dairy or Latifah.

April 28, 2011

Satie: Sports et Divertissiments

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A nice way to get distracted

April 27, 2011

Hindemith: Mathis der Maler

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: He’s somewhere between Claude Monet and Bob Ross.

April 26, 2011

Like Dancing About Architecture

Our composer wrote this piece in response to a commission. The overture was played as part of the opening of a theater in Vienna. The opening chords followed by long pauses are a great test of a new concert hall. The sound check is built into the composition!

April 26, 2011

Shostakovich: Jazz Suite

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Western music slides east.

April 25, 2011

Williams: Olympic Fanfare

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A different kind of ring cycle.

April 22, 2011

Janacek: String Quartet No. 2

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: The Czech’s in the mail

April 21, 2011

Mozart: "Als Luise die Briefe ihres"

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A piece with “flames” of passion

April 20, 2011

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: unusual architecture…

April 19, 2011

That sounds familiar!

This composition was commissioned to commemorate the repulsion of Napoleon’s forces. The composer even included the French anthem La Marseillaise into the work, confronted by the roar of cannon. The overture was set to premiere in 1881 but the ruler's assassination delayed the premiere until the following year.

April 19, 2011

Marvelettes: Mister Postman

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Not even severe weather can keep us from this music.

April 18, 2011

Chopin: Cello sonata in g

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: split the distance between Paris and Warsaw…

April 15, 2011

Mellencamp: Jack and Diane

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: chili dogs and romance…

April 14, 2011

Cowell: Aeolian Harp

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: slap it, strum it, pick it, drum it…

April 13, 2011

Bon Appetite!

While this composer is better known for his sacred cantatas, he wrote several secular ones. The plot tells of a young lady hopelessly addicted to coffee. It was first introduced to Europe in the seventeenth century and had made its way to Germany by the 1730s. The propriety of its consumption had become a matter of some controversy.

April 13, 2011

Shankar: Swara-Kakali

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: east, west, and in between…

April 12, 2011

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: unusual architecture…

April 11, 2011

Chopin: Cello Sonata in G minor

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: split the distance between Paris and Warsaw…

April 9, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

No scandal in music seems to be more famous than the premiere of this ballet. The ballet was described as a tale of pagan Russia and in this tale the tribal leaders have selected a young virgin to sacrifice to the gods of spring. The choreography was viewed by many to be overtly sexual and was partly to blame for the response by original audiences.

April 8, 2011

U2: Desert of your Love

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: me also?

April 7, 2011

Reich: Desert Music

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: minimally dry…

April 6, 2011

Romberg and Hammerstein: Desert Song

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a sandy love triangle…

April 5, 2011

Purcell: The Tempest "Dry those eyes"

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: dry eyes in a rainstorm…

April 4, 2011

Beethoven: "Tempest" sonata

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: drenched in Romantic perspiration…

April 1, 2011

Mozart: Piano Concerto, no. 26

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A “crowning” achievement for the keyboard.

March 31, 2011

Hector Berlioz: Damnation of Faust

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A deal with the devil goes south.

March 30, 2011

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral

Can you guess this piece? Here's a hint: Look out below!

March 30, 2011

Lennon and McCartney: Hey Jude

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Liverpool’s liveliest export.

March 29, 2011

Johann Christian Bach: Symphony Concertante

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A much older brother of P.D.Q.

March 28, 2011

Johann Strauss, Sr: Pizzicato Polka

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: It’s just like two members of Santa’s sleigh team.

March 25, 2011

Debussy: Nocturnes, Clouds

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Looks like rain today!

March 24, 2011

Telemann: Violin Concerto in A major

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Studying subjects musically and scientifically.

March 23, 2011

Girl Power!

The title of this piece is not the composer's only reference to the music of Aaron Copland, but also uses the same instrumentation as one of Copland’s fanfares, and quotes some of Copland’s music too. The composer's first manifestation of this fanfare was performed while serving as the composer-in-residence for the Saint Louis Symphony.

March 23, 2011

Borodin: Polovtsian Dances

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: This composer combines diverse elements of sound

March 22, 2011

Beethoven: Creatures of Prometheus

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Mythology at the hands of a musical giant.

March 21, 2011

Richard Strauss: Thus spoke Zarathustra

Here’s a hint: A masterpiece from long before Stanley Kubrick.

March 18, 2011

Billy Idol: White Wedding

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a traditional wedding color…

March 17, 2011

Stravinsky: Les Noces

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: let’s hope for a riot-less wedding!

March 16, 2011

Grieg: Wedding Day at Troldhaugen

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: think fjords…

March 16, 2011

The Best Medicine

This composer managed to escape the serious government attacks that had endangered the careers and perhaps even the lives of several of his peers. His distance from the more extreme forms of modernism made him less troublesome to the authorities, as did his passionate support for socially pragmatic music.

March 15, 2011

Wagner: Lohengrin Bridal Chorus

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: here comes the Teutonic bride…

March 14, 2011

Mozart: Marriage of Figaro Overture

Here’s a hint: shave and a haircut…gets hitched! or limber-voiced nuptials…

March 11, 2011

Armstrong: When the Saints go marching in

Here's a hint: It's a classic of New Orleans Jazz!

March 10, 2011

Allegri: Miserere, mei deus

Here's a hint: Music's first "pirated" copy?

March 9, 2011

Fun With Science

It has something to do with flasks, beakers, and Bunsen burners…

March 9, 2011

Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter Overture

Here's a hint: It's Easter celebrated the Russian way.

March 8, 2011

Orff: Carmina Burana, In taberna

Here's a hint: Medieval priests take partying to the extreme!

March 7, 2011

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, A Ball

Here's a hint: It's a perfect example of art imitating life.

March 4, 2011

Sousa: Stars and Stripes Forever

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: the “March King”…

March 3, 2011

Ives: They Are There

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: “insured” against musical weirdness…

March 2, 2011

Need for Speed

This composer was also a talented virtuoso performer. His works include both showpieces for his own performance and chamber music for publication. Later in his career, he took up the viola as an alternate instrument. He also had a serious interest in the guitar, writing over a hundred works for solo guitar and guitar quartet.

March 2, 2011

Copland: Old American Songs

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: the best songs may be the ones you don’t write…

March 1, 2011

Verdi: Nabucco

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: unvanquished Slaves…

February 28, 2011

Dvorak: Slavonic Dance

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Eastern European pride…

February 25, 2011

Glamour

As a high-priced “gentleman’s companion,” this main character lived quite a glamorous life. Her love for one man in particular changes her life. Unfortunately, his father who doesn’t much care for having a “demi monde” for a daughter-in-law. His father lets the two lovers back together, only for her to die in her love's arms.

February 25, 2011

Joplin: Maple Leaf Rag

Here’s a hint: a “raggy” calendar is bound to be full of holes…?

February 24, 2011

Vaughan Williams: String Quartet No. 2

Here’s a hint: beautiful music from England’s darkest hours…

February 23, 2011

Tallis: Spem in Alium

Here’s a hint: forty musicians can eat a lot of cake…

February 22, 2011

Schumann: A Woman's Life and Love

Here’s a hint: keeping one’s anniversaries together…

February 21, 2011

Haydn: String Quartet Op. 76

Here’s a hint: a birthday present valued “more than all else”…

February 18, 2011

Schumann: Kinderszenen Selections

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A composer begins to go off the deep end

February 17, 2011

Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A product of the horrors of war.

February 16, 2011

Brahms: Academic Festival Overture

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Graduation can be so rowdy!

February 15, 2011

Flying High

Ironically, in the suite the composer arranged from this opera, the most famous excerpt isn’t even included! Court intrigue leads the Tsar to mistakenly condemn his wife and son to be cast into the open sea in a barrel. After being rescued, the prince transforms himself and flies home to be reunited with his repentant father.

February 15, 2011

Rodgers: Shall We Dance?

Here’s a hint: A young woman adjusts to life on the other side of the world.

February 14, 2011

Holst: The Planets, Jupiter

Here’s a hint: Roman gods take a rocket ship to the stars.

February 11, 2011

Gershwin: Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

Can you guess this piece? Here's a hint: It's a hit from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

February 10, 2011

Richard Strauss: Rosenkavalier Suite

Can you guess this piece? Here's a hint: It's love at first sight on the opera stage.

February 9, 2011

Willson: The Music Man

Can you guess this piece? Here's a hint: It's a selection from a musical theater classic.

February 8, 2011

Book of Love

In this opera, the evil witch Fata Morgana causes the hypochondriac Prince to fall in love with and pursue three oranges. The opera is stuffed with slapstick side-busters but is also filled with acerbic wit and acidic satire and life is at times treated with indifference.

February 8, 2011

Robert Schumann: Widmung

Can you guess this piece? Here's a hint: It's a pianistic rendition of another composer's work.

February 7, 2011

Mozart: Cosi fan Tutte Overture

Can you guess this piece? Here's a hint: It's a story about flirting taken to the operatic extreme!

February 4, 2011

Blue Oyster Cult: Don't Fear the Reaper

Here’s a hint: not to be confused with the Örange Cräb Society…

February 3, 2011

Adams: I was Looking at the Ceiling

Here’s a hint: it’s not the apocalypse, it’s just LA …

February 2, 2011

Handel: Israel in Egpyt

Here’s a hint: sink or swim… or: we can "Handel" a little water.

February 1, 2011

Great Performers

In this film about music, the star of the show is a violin, whose three-hundred-year story traverses multiple performers. Some of these fictional performers have their roots in reality, and a real-life violin superstar also had a hand in both recording the sound for the violin solos and acting as a “hand double” for the on-screen performers.

February 1, 2011

Brahms: Symphony No. 1

Here’s a hint: Beethovenophobia? or a famous first by one of the three “B’s.”

January 31, 2011

Verdi: Requiem, Dies Irae

Here’s a hint: "an opera for the church" or "apocalypse wow!"

January 28, 2011

Gene Autry: Tumbling Tumbleweeds

Here’s a hint: ‘round the campfire and onto the airwaves…

January 27, 2011

Weill: On the Rio Grande

Here's a hint: war starts “Weill” you least expect it…

January 26, 2011

Billings: Brookfield

Here’s a hint: "the wild… East?" or "always willing to pick up the “Bill”…"

January 25, 2011

Literary Inspirations

One of the most famous characters in German literature is a doctor who sells his soul to the Devil in order to gain all the knowledge the world. This selection is one of the most popular hits from a famous French adaptation of this German classic.

January 25, 2011

Dvorak: String Quintet

Here’s a hint: far from home, but not from the native tongue…

January 24, 2011

Bernstein: Magnificent Seven

Here’s a hint: seven’s a lucky number; or a “magnificent” film score…

January 21, 2011

Bernstein: Candide

Here’s a hint: It’s a comical romp around the globe!

January 20, 2011

Victoria: Regina Caeli

Here’s a hint: It’s a gem from the Spanish Palestrina.

January 19, 2011

Stan Kenton: Malagueña

Here’s a hint: It’s a classic of Spanish-influenced jazz.

January 18, 2011

Pack Your Bags

This intellectually prodigious composer actively wrote music and absorbed diverse cultures the entire time he was making a three-year “Grand Tour” of Europe. These travels frequently impacted his artistic life—a trip to Scotland gave him endless opportunities for landscape sketching, and brought him into contact with one of his favorite authors.

January 18, 2011

Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole

Here’s a hint: It’s a virtuosic work with Spanish flare.

January 17, 2011

Verdi: Don Carlo, Auto da Fe

Here’s a hint: A Spanish spectacle on the operatic stage.

January 14, 2011

Barbara Strozzi: Udite, Amanti

Here’s a hint: A female rock star . . . in Baroque Venice?

January 13, 2011

Clara Schumann: Piano Trio in G minor

Here’s a hint: A great woman finds herself to be the admiration of two great composers.

January 12, 2011

Cécile Chaminade: Valse Carnavalesque

Here's a hint: A French woman captures the spirit of the early 20th century.

January 12, 2011

Hildegard: Ave Generosa

Here’s a hint: She was a rock star in medieval Germany!

January 11, 2011

Star Gazing

This selection is taken from a work the composer considered a complete set. His collection of 7 was conspicuously missing one member of the group. A few years later there were nine of them, but now there’s only eight again. Each has its own character, and this one is the most jovial member of the high-flying team.

January 10, 2011

Amy Beach: Piano Concerto

Here’s a hint: She was America’s first musical leading lady.

January 7, 2011

Clint Ballard: Game of Love

Here’s a hint: nicer than the “Game of Hate,” but no easier on the complexion…

January 6, 2011

Weber: Freischütz, Huntsman's Chorus

Here’s hint: he’ll hit the mark, “Weber” or not he aims…

January 5, 2011

Respighi: Roman Festivals

Here’s a hint: it’s all fun and games until somebody gets devoured…

January 4, 2011

New Year's Celebration

This composer's last six masses are considered to be the pinnacle of his contributions to the vocal genre. At the end of his life, this composer's duties became less stringent later in life. His primary duty was to supply a mass each year for the performance in conjunction with celebration of the name-day of his employer's wife.

January 4, 2011

Puccini: Turandot

Here’s a hint: “head’s up! Here comes the princess…”

January 3, 2011

Bizet: Children's Games

Here’s hint: before you have to teach them “le Bees et le Birds”…

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