Soho the Dog has posted his back to school classical music quiz, which I’ll reproduce here (and give my own answers).Â Remember, there’s no such thing as a dumb answer, just a dumb person!
1. What’s the best quotation of a piece of music within another piece of music?
Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in the last movement of Shostakovich’s Viola Sonata
2. Name the best classical crossover album ever made.
Yo-yo Ma’s Soul of the Tango
3. Great piece with a terrible title.
John Adams’ The Wound Dresser
4. If you had to choose: Benjamin Britten or Michael Tippett?
Britten all the way, baby.
5. Who’s your favorite spouse of a composer/performer? (Besides your own.)
Richard Strauss’ wife Anna de Ahna, she must have been a piece of work!
6. Terrible piece with a great title.
Beethoven’s Creatures of Prometheus, I still can’t get over my disappointment upon first hearing this work after being excited by the title.
7. What’s the best use of a classical warhorse in a Hollywood movie?
The Dies Irae of Mozart’s Requiem in Amadeus.
8. Name the worst classical crossover album ever made.
Anything by that artistic abortion Il Divo – ooh, I think I threw up a little in my mouth…
9. If you had to choose: Sam Cooke or Marvin Gaye?
If the stars align just right, who needs to choose – shuffle ’em both in the iPod!
10. Name a creative type in a non-musical medium who would have been a great composer.
Mikhail Baryshnikov – imagine if he did the same for virtuosity and extension of the vocabulary of dance in music!
For opera nerds: If you had to choose:
a) Lawrence Tibbett or Robert Merrill?
b) Amelita Galli-Curci or Lily Pons?
I pass on this one.
For early-music nerds: Name a completely and hopelessly historically uninformed recording that you nevertheless love.
The Philadelphia Orchestra’s recording of the Bach/Stokowski Air on the G-string.