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Classical Music

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General
Beethoven
Haydn
Holst
Mahler
Mendelssohn
Mozart
Prokofiev
Schubert
Shostakovich
Tchaikovsky
Vaughan Williams

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Classical Music

This page is about classical compositions where the question is something other than "Who composed ... ?"

General

Numbers

Symphonies written by Brahms Click to show or hide the answer
Piano concertos written by Beethoven Click to show or hide the answer
Bach's Brandenburg Concertos Click to show or hide the answer
Symphonies written by Sibelius Click to show or hide the answer
Mozart composed his first symphony at the age of Click to show or hide the answer
Number of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony Click to show or hide the answer
Number of Schubert's last finished symphony (The Great C Major) Click to show or hide the answer
Symphonies written by Beethoven, Mahler, Dvořák and Vaughan Williams (each!) Click to show or hide the answer
Number of Elgar's Enigma Variations Click to show or hide the answer
Piano concertos written by Mozart Click to show or hide the answer
Symphonies written by Mozart Click to show or hide the answer
Symphonies written by Haydn Click to show or hide the answer
Items in Kochel's catalogue of the works of Mozart Click to show or hide the answer

Other

Written by Tchaikovsky in 1882 to commemorate the Battle of Borodino; includes an extract from the French national anthem (La Marseillaise) and also the Russian anthem of Tchaikovsky's day (see also Marche Slave). Famous for its climactic volley of cannon fire and bell chimes Click to show or hide the answer
Popular name for (the tune from) the 2nd movement of Bach's Suite no. 3 in D Click to show or hide the answer
Opening motif used by the BBC during World War II, to suggest the Morse code for V (for Victory) Click to show or hide the answer
One–act opera by Pietro Mascagni, often performed (and recorded) alongside Leoncavallo's Pagliacci Click to show or hide the answer
Classical guitar piece, written in 1970 by the British composer Stanley Myers; made famous when used as the theme tune to the 1978 film The Deer Hunter Click to show or hide the answer
In the Dance of the Sugar–Plum Fairy, the melody is played on the Click to show or hide the answer
Childish waltz, variations for 3 hands written by Rimsky–Korsakov et al before 1880 Click to show or hide the answer
Mozart's last opera (but completed before The Magic Flute) Click to show or hide the answer
Haydn oratorio, considered by many to be his masterpiece: set to texts taken from the book of Genesis, the Psalms and Milton's Paradise Lost Click to show or hide the answer
Mozart's string quartet in C major, K465 Click to show or hide the answer
Elgar's oratorio depicting the passage of a dying man's soul to a glimpse of heaven; based on a poem by Cardinal Newman Click to show or hide the answer
Not featured in Holst's Planets suite (of the eight major planets) Click to show or hide the answer
The sea that inspired Debussy's "three symphonic sketches for orchestra", La Mer (it was composed in Eastbourne) Click to show or hide the answer
Elgar's 14 Variations on an Original Theme, op. 36; dedicated "to my friends, pictured within" Click to show or hide the answer
Beethoven's Piano Concerto no. 5 in E flat major, op. 73 Click to show or hide the answer
Beethoven's only opera Click to show or hide the answer
The first four of the twelve violin concertos comprising Vivaldi's Op. 8 (1725) Click to show or hide the answer
Popular name for Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 (an extract, arranged for brass, was used in the famous 1973 Hovis advert) Click to show or hide the answer
Chopin: Sonata no. 2 in B Flat minor, op. 35 Click to show or hide the answer
Handel wrote his four Coronation Anthems – including Zadok the Priest – for the coronation of; started the custom of standing for the Hallelujah Chorus Click to show or hide the answer
Barcarolle: originally sung by a Click to show or hide the answer
Solo instrument in Rodrigo's Concerto d'Aranjuez Click to show or hide the answer
Name given to a Mozart serenade (K250, 1776) and the 35th symphony (K385, 1782) Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's oldest orchestra Click to show or hide the answer
Bach's Italian Concerto: solo instrument Click to show or hide the answer
Work by Mendelssohn, inspired by a visit to the Scottish island of Staffa and alternatively known as Fingal's Cave after one of the island's most famous features Click to show or hide the answer
Nickname shared by Mozart's String Quartet No. 17 in Bb, K458, and Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 18 in Eb, Op. 31 No. 3 Click to show or hide the answer
Elgar's Cockaigne Overture: subtitle Click to show or hide the answer
Handel oratorio, about (named after the leader of) the Jewish revolt against the Syrians in 165 BC – as celebrated at Hannukah; written in honour of the Duke of Cumberland and his victory at Culloden; includes the chorus See, the Conqu'ring Hero Comes – tune used for the hymn Thine Be the Glory Click to show or hide the answer
Movement of Holst's Planets suite, used as the tune to the hymn I Vow to Thee, My Country (and subsequently for the Rugby World Cup anthem World in Union). Title of the hymn tune is Thaxted – after the Essex village where Holst lived for many years Click to show or hide the answer
K, in the Mozart catalogue, stands for Click to show or hide the answer
Words by A. C. Benson, set to the trio tune from Elgar's Pomp & Circumstance March No. 1 – first appeared in the Coronation Ode, written for the coronation of Edward VII Click to show or hide the answer
Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7: commemorates the Battle of Click to show or hide the answer
Mahler's 1908 orchestral song cycle – six German versions of 8th–century Chinese poems (title means The Song of the Earth) Click to show or hide the answer
1st symphony is sometimes known as 'The Titan', although the composer only used this name for early (incomplete) versions Click to show or hide the answer
5th Symphony used in the 1971 film Death in Venice (starring Dirk Bogarde)
Drama by Byron, incidental music by Schumann, on which Tchaikovsky based a symphony Click to show or hide the answer
1876 piece by Tchaikovsky, written to commemorate an unsuccessful Serbian revolt against the Ottoman empire (in which many Russians participated). Shares many elements (including the Russian national anthem) with the 1812 Overture which was written 6 years later Click to show or hide the answer
Oratorio by Handel, includes the Hallelujah chorus; premiered at Neal's Music Hall, Fishamble Street, Dublin, 13 April 1742; proceeds donated to local charities and hospitals for the mentally ill, at the request of Jonathan Swift (Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral) Click to show or hide the answer
Mendelssohn's Wedding March comes from his incidental music to Click to show or hide the answer
Chopin: Waltz in D flat major, Op. 64 No. 1 Click to show or hide the answer
Dark, atmospheric piece from Prokofiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet – a.k.a. Dance of the Knights – used as a theme tune by Sunderland AFC, the rock band Muse, the British version of the TV show The Apprentice, and the 1979 film Caligula Click to show or hide the answer
Dedicatee of Beethoven's 'Emperor' Concerto; also the original dedicatee of his 3rd symphony (Eroica), which was re–dedicated to the composer's patron, Prince Joseph Franz von Lobkowitz Click to show or hide the answer
Form of popular song, the name deriving from a festival that was held from the 1830s until 1950; famous examples include O Sole Mio and Funiculi, Funicula Click to show or hide the answer
The most famous of the Enigma variations: inspired by Elgar's friend Augustus Jaeger (Jaeger being German for hunter, and the piece being named after a Biblical patriarch described as "a mighty hunter"); played at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday Click to show or hide the answer
Song by Henry Purcell, from the 1675 play The Libertine by Thomas Shadwell: famously recorded at the Manchester Free Trade Hall in 1929, sung by the Manchester Children's Choir accompanied by the Hallé Orchestra (see also Musicals) Click to show or hide the answer
William Walton's march for the coronation of Elizabeth II Click to show or hide the answer
Solo instrument featured in Saint–Saens's 3rd Symphony Click to show or hide the answer
Operetta by Offenbach that features the Can Can Click to show or hide the answer
Name given to a Beethoven piano sonata and a Tchaikovsky symphony Click to show or hide the answer
Play by Ibsen: Grieg's incidental music includes Morning Mood, Anitra's Dance, In the Hall of the Mountain King Click to show or hide the answer
Eric Satie mainly wrote for the Click to show or hide the answer
Mussorgsky's piano suite in ten movements (1874), inspired by the paintings of Viktor Hartmann; various orchestrations, the most famous one by Ravel; starts with the Promenade, variations of which reoccur at several points later in the work; ends with The Great Gate of Kiev Click to show or hide the answer
Elgar's five marches, No. 1 known as Land of Hope and Glory Click to show or hide the answer
Elgar's Nursery Suite (1931): dedicated to 5–year–old Click to show or hide the answer
Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (Op. 34, 1946): subtitled Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Click to show or hide the answer
Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony: dedicated to Click to show or hide the answer
Chopin: Prelude no. 15 in D Flat, op. 28 Click to show or hide the answer
Mozart's final, unfinished work (K626) Click to show or hide the answer
Popular name for the beginning of Act III of the second opera in Wagner's Ring cycle Click to show or hide the answer
Ballet by Prokofiev, with choreography by Nijinsky: caused a near–riot when premiered by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (Russian Ballet) in Paris in 1913 Click to show or hide the answer
Nickname shared by the 4th symphonies of Anton Bruckner and (more obscurely) the Mexican composer Carlos Chávez Click to show or hide the answer
Handel oratorio which includes the aria Let the Bright Seraphim, sung by Kiri Te Kanawa at Charles & Diana's wedding Click to show or hide the answer
The Sea and Sinbad's Ship: Part 1 of (symphonic poem by Rimsky–Korsakov) Click to show or hide the answer
13th century hymn, a meditation on the suffering of the Virgin Mary at the Cruxifixion: Latin title means "stood the mother"; set to music by various composers, most famously Palestrina, Pergolesi and the two Scarlattis (Alessandro and his son Domenico) Click to show or hide the answer
Schubert's piano quintet in A minor Click to show or hide the answer
Solo part in Vaughan Williams's The Lark Ascending Click to show or hide the answer
Benjamin Britten's work based on the poems of Wilfred Owen Click to show or hide the answer
Composed by Handel for a picnic on the Thames in 1717 – allegedly as a peace offering to George I Click to show or hide the answer
Tune composed in 1793 for a clock in the University Church at Cambridge – and hence sometimes known as Cambridge Quarters; probably the most commonly used chime for striking clocks, most famously the one in what is now (since 2012) known as the Elizabeth Tower at the Palace of Westminster; said to be based on an extract from I Know That My Redeemer Liveth, from Handel's Messiah Click to show or hide the answer
Rossini overture, an extract from which was used as the theme to The Lone Ranger (also adapted for the theme song to a TV series of the same name as the overture) Click to show or hide the answer
The opening motif of Beethoven's 5th symphony (used by the BBC to introduce news bulletins during WWII, because it echoed the Morse code for the letter V, signifying Victory) is said to have been inspired by the call of the Click to show or hide the answer
Anthem by Handel, used at the coronation of every British monarch since George II Click to show or hide the answer
Spanish term for a light musical drama – named after a royal hunting lodge near Madrid where first performed – also the name of a type of fish stew Click to show or hide the answer

Beethoven

Symphonies

No. 3 Click to show or hide the answer No. 6 Click to show or hide the answer No. 9 Click to show or hide the answer

Piano Sonatas

No. 4 Click to show or hide the answer No. 8 Click to show or hide the answer No. 12 Click to show or hide the answer
No. 14 Click to show or hide the answer No. 17 Click to show or hide the answer No. 18 Click to show or hide the answer
No. 21 Click to show or hide the answer No. 23 Click to show or hide the answer No. 24 Click to show or hide the answer
No. 26 Click to show or hide the answer No. 29 Click to show or hide the answer

The famous Moonlight sonata is in the key of C–sharp minor. It was published as one of two sonatas (Nos. 13 and 14, Opus 27), each of which is described as a Sonata quasi una fantasia (sonata in the manner of a fantasia). No one is very sure why.

Haydn

Symphonies Nos. 82 – 87 (commissioned by Count d'Ogny for performance by the Concert de la Loge Olympique) Click to show or hide the answer
Last 11 symphonies (nos. 94–104) Click to show or hide the answer

The Paris Symphonies

Beware: none of Haydn's symphonies is individually nicknamed the Paris symphony, but six of his symphonies were commissioned to be performed in Paris (as stated above) and are collectively known as the Paris Symphonies. Mozart, on the other hand, did write a Paris symphony – see below.

Four of Haydn's six Paris symphonies (nos. 82 to 87 – see above) have names:

No. 82 Click to show or hide the answer No. 83 Click to show or hide the answer
No. 84 Click to show or hide the answer No. 85 Click to show or hide the answer

The London Symphonies

Six of Haydn's eleven London symphonies (nos. 94 to 104 – see above) have names:

No. 94 Click to show or hide the answer No. 96 Click to show or hide the answer No. 100 Click to show or hide the answer
No. 101 Click to show or hide the answer No. 103 Click to show or hide the answer No. 104 Click to show or hide the answer

Other named symphonies:

(Orchestra leaves the stage one by one)
No. 45 Click to show or hide the answer
 No. 48 Click to show or hide the answer
(After the city where it was performed in 1791) No. 92 Click to show or hide the answer

Holst: The Planets

The Planets was Holst's op. 32 and was first performed in 1920. The seven movements are normally performed in this order:

The Bringer of War Click to show or hide the answer
The Bringer of Peace Click to show or hide the answer
The Winged Messenger Click to show or hide the answer
The Bringer of Jollity Click to show or hide the answer
The Bringer of Old Age Click to show or hide the answer
The Magician Click to show or hide the answer
The Mystic Click to show or hide the answer

Mahler

No. 2 Click to show or hide the answer No. 3 Click to show or hide the answer

Unfinished Click to show or hide the answer

Mendelssohn (symphonies)

No. 3 Click to show or hide the answer No. 4 Click to show or hide the answer No. 5 Click to show or hide the answer

Mozart (symphonies)

No. Nickname
31 Click to show or hide the answer
 35 Click to show or hide the answer
(Austrian town – written on a journey there) 36 Click to show or hide the answer
(After the city where it was performed in 1787) 38 Click to show or hide the answer
 41 Click to show or hide the answer

Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf

Q: In Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, which animal or character is represented by the ...   A:
Flute Click to show or hide the answer
Clarinet Click to show or hide the answer
Oboe Click to show or hide the answer
Bassoon Click to show or hide the answer
A theme on woodwind and trumpet, with gunshots on timpani and bass drum Click to show or hide the answer
Stringed intsruments (violin, viola, cello, bass) Click to show or hide the answer
French horns Click to show or hide the answer

Most of these questions can equally well be asked the other way round.

Schubert

No. 8 Click to show or hide the answer No. 9 Click to show or hide the answer

Shostakovich

No. 2 Click to show or hide the answer No. 3 Click to show or hide the answer No. 7 Click to show or hide the answer
No. 11 Click to show or hide the answer No. 12 Click to show or hide the answer No. 13 Click to show or hide the answer

Tchaikovsky

No. 1 Click to show or hide the answer No. 2 Click to show or hide the answer No. 3 Click to show or hide the answer
No. 4 Click to show or hide the answer No. 5 Click to show or hide the answer No. 6 Click to show or hide the answer

Op. 58 – written in summer 1885, between the 4th and 5th symphonies: based on (and named after) a poem by Lord Byron, and not numbered Click to show or hide the answer

Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) wrote a total of nine symphonies, and four of them have names. These four are not generally known by their numbers – just the names.

For obvious reasons, take care with Nos 2 and 3.

No. 1 Click to show or hide the answer No. 2 Click to show or hide the answer
No. 3 Click to show or hide the answer No. 7 Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017