Monday, December 15, 2014

The New Monday Beethoven's Birthday Eve Quiz

It's Beethoven's Birthday tomorrow!  Every five years, whether you need it or not, you get a Beethoven's Birthday classical music quiz!  The 2009 iteration is here...  and today's version is immediately below this horizontal line:

1. He’s traditionally credited with 41 symphonies, but honestly they don’t get very interesting until at least the mid-twenties. Also, 27 concertos for piano, five for violin, and four for the french horn.

2. Igor Stravinsky is said to have quipped that he wrote the same concerto 500 times; the four versions that are well-known today are collectively called The Four Seasons.

3. His third symphony is “the Scottish” and his fourth symphony is “the Italian”; his music for A Midsummer Night's Dream is pretty popular, and his violin concerto has been a hit from its first performance in 1845 to the current day.

4. He was shy about writing symphonies for years, because he was afraid of being compared with Beethoven, but his First Symphony is obviously modeled on the Big Guy’s Ninth. He eventually wrote four of ‘em in total, plus two sprawling piano concerti and the very lovely Variations on a Theme by Hadyn, which is a set of variations on a theme that is was not written by Haydn.

5. Two words: Carmina Burana.

6. He’s traditionally credited with 104 symphonies, but honestly they don’t get very interesting until the eighties. Also, he pretty much invented the form of the string quartet.

7. His Symphonies #5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 used to be his Symphonies #1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, until people dug up some of his early work. He wrote a popular cello concerto, a middling violin concerto, and a much-ignored piano concerto. Everybody loves the Slavonic Dances.

8. Scheherazade and… well, Scheherazade. And the Capriccio Espagnol, and the Russian Easter Overture, but mostly Scheherazade.

9. Bolero, of course, plus Daphnis and Chloe and La Valse. He didn’t write Pictures at an Exhibition -- that was Mussorgsky -- but he did the orchestration that makes it work.

10. After this Polish composer’s 3rd Symphony, the “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs,” became an international hit in 1992, he proved himself the very model of a modern major composer by “pointedly resist[ing] the temptation to repeat earlier success, or compose for commercial reward.


Elizabeth said...

1. Haydn, I think?
2. Vivaldi, and I sort of agree with Stravinsky.
3. Mendelssohn.
4. Who wrote sprawling piano concerti, and only two of them? I was thinking Grieg but he wrote three at least.
5. Carl Orff.
6. Okay, this is Haydn, and the answer to #1 is Mozart.
7. Oh shoot - I know this one. Used to have an LP of Slavonic Dances. Um. Damn. Can't remember. I'll know it when I see it.
8. Rimsky-Korsakov.
9. Maurice Ravel.
10. Starts with an S. I can hear it in my head right now. Damn^2.

Going to have to come back to these if inspiration occurs later in the day.

DrSchnell said...

1. Mozart
3. Mendelssohn (sp?)
4. ?
5. Orff
6. Haydn
7. Dvorak
9. Ravel
10. Gorecki

Michael5000 said...

I will certify that Mrs.5000 nailed this one orally over the breakfast table -- including #4, the gap in DrSchnell's otherwise perfect slate, which he has no doubt been kicking himself over since the answer occurred to him around mid-day.

Ben said...

As a music major in college and a sometime-classical-musician, this quiz should be a snap, right? Hah!

1. Haydn
2. Vivaldi
3. I should know this, but I don't
4. Brahms
5. Orff?
6. Mozart
7. Dvorak
8. Rimsky-Korsakov
9. Ravel
10. ?

DrSchnell said...

Yup. Stupid Brahms.....