Friends, it’s time once again to test your knowledge of classical music! Here’s a third classical music trivia quiz that I’m sure you’ll enjoy… it’s perhaps the most challenging one yet! Each question has four choices. Select the one choice for each question that you think is correct. You can check your answers at the end of the quiz.
This red-haired composer was also a Catholic priest; among his most famous works are L’Estro Armonico and Le Quattro Stagioni:
a. Gabriel Fauré
b. Tomaso Albinoni
c. Arcangelo Corelli
d. Antonio Vivaldi
Later recognized as Britain’s greatest composer, he was ridiculed in his lifetime for his stuffiness, pomposity, and “vulgar, jingoistic music:”
a. Ralph Vaughan Williams
b. Edward Elgar
c. Georg Friedrich Handel
d. Frederick Delius
This famous 19th century composer was a favorite of Britain’s Queen Victoria:
a. Richard Wagner
b. Edward Elgar
c. Felix Mendelssohn
d. Benjamin Britten
Beethoven originally dedicated this composition to Napoleon Bonaparte, but changed the dedication and the name of the composition after Napoleon proclaimed himself Emperor:
b. Violin Sonata No. 9“Kreutzer”
c. Symphony No. 3 “Eroica”
d. Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral”
This composer was a devoted lifelong friend of composers Robert and Clara Schumann; he fell in love with Clara after her husband Robert died:
a. Johannes Brahms
b. Franz Schubert
c. Gustav Mahler
d. Frédéric Chopin
“Brain Boiler” Bonus Question:
Mozart’s Serenade in B-flat major, K.361 is better known by what nickname?
c. “Gran Partita”
d. “A Musical Joke”
Question 1: D
Antonio Vivaldi composed hundreds of concertos, sonatas, and church music during his lifetime. L’Estro Armonico is a series of 12 concertos that divides into groups of three concertos, each group having a quadruple, a double, and a single concerto. Vivaldi’s most famous composition, of course, is Le Quattro Stagioni, which translates into English as The Four Seasons.
Question 2: B
Sir Edward Elgar came to the forefront of British classical music during the late Victorian period. Among his famous works: “Pomp and Circumstance,” “The Dream of Gerontius,” and “Cockaigne Overture: In London Town.”
Question 3: B
When Felix Mendelssohn visited Britain in the 1840’s, he became a close friend of the then young Queen Victoria and her consort, Prince Albert. The royal couple found Mendelssohn’s music elegant, precise, and in a pure Classical style.
Question 4: C
Beethoven’s political beliefs were decidedly anti-royalist and republican. He initially admired Napoleon and dedicated his Symphony No. 3 to the French ruler. Beethoven was so enraged when Napoleon proclaimed himself Emperor that he tore up the symphony’s title page, with Napoleon’s name on it, and renamed the symphony “Eroica” (Heroic).
Question 5: A
Most historians doubt that the relationship between Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann was ever anything more than a Platonic one. Brahms was too gruff, and Clara too devoted to promoting the name and works of her late husband.
“Brain Boiler” Bonus Question: C
The Serenade in B-flat major, K.361, also known as “Gran Partita,” is scored for thirteen solo instruments. Four horns (paired in different keys); a pair each of clarinets, basset horns, bassoons, and oboes, and a string bass. This composition is featured early in the movie Amadeus. The aged Antonio Salieri describes it as: “on the page it looked like nothing; the beginning, simple… almost comic… like a rusty squeeze box…”
(Portions of this content previously published at funtrivia.com under the username mkp51.)
Harold C. Schonberg, The Lives of the Great Composers, First Edition (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1970)