Musical Top Ten Lists
Ten themes that begin with the same note repeated
- 16 times: Mozart: Concerto for two pianos K 365, 1st movement, 2nd theme
- 16 - Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 12, 3rd movement
- 15 - Khachaturian: Sabre Dance
- 14 - Schubert: Piano Sonata in A, D 959, 1st movement
- 13 - Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 21, 1st movement
- 12 - Verdi: Requiem, Requiem aeternam
- 12 - Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4, 1st movement
- 12 - Beethoven: Symphony No. 5, 3rd movement, 2nd theme
- 12 - Beethoven: Symphony No. 7, 2nd movement
- 12 - Mahler: Symphony No. 5, 1st movement
Ten odd things which inspired melodies
- Dripping water - Chopin: Raindrop Prelude Op. 28 No. 15
- Cat walking on a keyboard - Scarlatti: Cat's Fugue Sonata K30
- Metronome - Beethoven: Symphony No. 8 - slow movement
- Cuckoo - Lots including Delius: On Hearing the First Cuckoo
- New York skyline - Villa-Lobos: New York Skyline Melody (tune on paper mimics shape of cityscape)
- Bells of Rostov, Ukraine - Tavener: Protecting Veil
- Brass band continuing play despite being underwater - Bryars: Sinking of the Titanic
- Incompetent orchestra starting out of tune, stopping to tune up, and carrying on - Haydn: Symphony No. 60 Il Distratto
- Tinnitus - Smetana: Quartet No. 1
- KGB squad hammering on your door at 4am - Shostakovich: Quartet No. 8
Ten works with unusual sound effects
- Whales - Hovhaness - And God Created Great Whales
- Dog - Piston - The Incredible Flautist
- Sea birds - Rautavaara - Cantus Articus
- Nightingale - Respighi - Pines of Rome
- Cannon and bells - Tchaikovsky - 1812 Overture
- Breathing - Tippett - Symphony No. 4
- Shouting - Delius - Eventyr
- Typewriter, revolver and siren - Satie - Parade
- Factory hooter - Shostakovich - Symphony No. 2
- Cuckoo, champagne cork, pistol, thunderclap etc. - J Strauss II - polkas
Ten pieces that didn't survive the first draft
- Mozart - The Magic Harmonica
- Prokofiev - Love of Three Bananas
- Nikolai - Merry Wives of Watford
- Delius - On Hearing the First Lawnmower in Spring
- Bernstein - Bognor Regis Psalms
- Gershwin - An American in Scunthorpe
- J Strauss II - The Brownish-Grey Danube
- Bartók - The Miraculous Tangerine
- Janacek - In the Smog
- Rossini - Chartered Accountant of Seville
Ten jobs composers had before they were famous
- Balakirev - railway official
- Borodin - chemistry lecturer
- Cui - fortifications expert
- Delius - orange grower
- Ives - insurance executive
- Mussorgsky - civil servant
- Rimsky-Korsakov - naval officer
- Shostakovich - silent movie cinema pianist
- Tchaikovsky - civil servant
- Verdi - farmer
Ten operas that end without anyone dying at all
- Magic Flute - Mozart
- Die Fledermaus - J Strauss II
- Marriage of Figaro - Mozart
- Barber of Seville - Rossini
- Così fan tutte - Mozart
- Fidelio - Beethoven
- La sonnambula - Bellini
- Italian in Algiers - Rossini
- Thieving Magpie - Rossini
- Fra Diavolo - Auber
Ten operas where daddy screws up big time
- Philipp, in Verdi's Don Carlos, marries the woman his son is in love with
- Herodes, in Strauss's Salome, wants to sleep with his daughter, finally has her killed
- Rigoletto, in Verdi's Rigoletto, has his daughter stabbed by a killer in error
- Dr Bartolo, in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, unwittingly wants his son to marry his own mother
- Cardinal Brogni, in Halévy's La Juive, boils his daughter in oil
- Rocco, in Beethoven's Fidelio, unwittingly wants his daughter to be married to a woman
- Wotan, in Wagner's Die Walküre, puts his daughter into a circle of fire
- William Tell, in Rossini's William Tell, shoots at his son with a crossbow
- Mr Peachum, in Pepusch's Beggars Opera, throws the husband of his daughter into jail
- Saint-Bris, in Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots, commands a band of fanatic soldiers who shoot his daughter
Ten famous works prevented in one line
- J S Bach: Coffee Cantata "Tea for me, please"
- Haydn: Symphony No 45, Farewell "Hello!"
- Tchaikvosky: 1812 Overture "I said blanks, you fools..."
- Tchaikvosky: Pathétique Symphony "My new therapist is great - I feel so much better about myself"
- Stravinksy: Rite of Spring "You're right to move to Hawaii, Igor, even if the weather's dull"
- Franz Gruber: Silent Night "Good thing you put the traps out, Franz - those church mice can really mess up an organ"
- Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 "There, it's installed - now if your doorbell gives you any trouble, Herr Beethoven, just call this number"
- Copland: Lincoln Portrait "You know, I think the South was right in the Civil War - how about a 'Jefferson Davis Portrait'?"
- Ravel: Boléro "OK, who's nicked my drumsticks?"
- Delius: On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring "BANG!"
Ten composers with memorable names
- George Careless Hymn composer
- John Blow (1649-1708) English master. Sadly, he never wrote an oratorio based on the story of Job.
- Josef Suk (1874-1935) Czech composer of rich orchestral pieces. Shame he never wrote harmonica music based on the work of the composer above
- Anthony Piccolo (1946- ) American whose name must have caused all sorts of confusion
- Jan van Boom (1807-72) There never was one in the Dutchman's music. 'Boom' means 'tree'
- Johann Joseph Fux (1660-1741) Austrian. No comment.
- Samuel Scheidt (1587-1654) German composer of a lot of... instrumental music
- Hans Rott (1858-1884) Another German composer of a lot of orchestral music
- Michele-Enrico-Francesco-Vincenzo-Aloisio-Paolo Carafa di Colobrano (1787-1872) Italian opera composer whose name takes up more space in the CD catalogues than the list of his recordings
- Louis George Maurice Adolph Roch Albert Abel Antonio Alexandre Noé Jean Lucien Daniel Eugène Joseph-le-brun Joseph-Barême Thomas Thomas Thomas-Thomas Pierre Arbon Pierre-Maurel Barthélemi Artus Alphonse Bertrand Dieudonné Emanuel Josué Vincent Luc Michel Jules-de-la-plane Jules-Bazin Julio César Jullien (1812-1860) French showman conductor and composer whose parents were persuaded by the 36 members of the Philharmonic Society at Sisteron, France, that they should all be godfathers.