True or False?
A little quiz-type thing for you this month. Among the list of musical 'facts' below are a few that can't quite pass muster when it comes to putting hand on heart. Can you distinguish those that are true from those that are false? Try to do it without cheating by looking up the answers - Google should not be your friend here. Answers next week.
- Franz Schubert was a torch-bearer at the funeral of Ludwig van Beethoven.
- Beethoven regarded Haydn as the greatest composer of all time.
- The tomb in which the body of Joseph Haydn is laid to rest contains two heads.
- Composer Anton Webern was shot dead by an American army cook.
- Handel's set of twelve Concerti Grossi Op.6 has one concerto for each note of the chromatic scale.
- If you are at the circus and suddenly hear John Philip Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever being played, it is time to make a hasty exit from the big top.
- Avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen is the only representative of classical music seen on the cover of the Beatles' album Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
- Mozart was fond of playing snooker.
- Chopin was one of a select group of people blessed with perfect pitch, the ability to sing or identify the pitch of any note, even when it is heard in isolation.
- The Hungarian State Opera House in Budapest is called The Rudolfinum.
- Jean-Baptiste Lully, musician and dancing master to the French court of Louis XIV, died from gangrene infection of an accidental, self-inflicted injury.
- CPE Bach, the second son of his famous father, Johann Sebastian Bach, was left-handed.
- At one time, players of the bagpipes commonly suffered from a disease caused by inhaling a black fungus that grew inside the air bag.
- Sound travels faster in gold than in iron.
- Pianist/composer Franz Liszt had an extra finger on each hand.
- Russian composer Alexander Borodin's day job was as an organic chemist and a physician.
- The international pitch standard of A4=440 Hz was adopted in 1939.
- Gustav Mahler once conducted a performance of his Fourth Symphony in the first half of a concert, then conducted it again in the second half.
- The overture to Rossini's opera The Thieving Magpie was only written when the theatre management locked the composer in a room, passing the completed pages out through a window one by one to waiting copyists who prepared the orchestral parts for the première.
- The conductor Sir John Barbirolli was known by his friends as 'Tita'.
Good luck; the answers will appear here next week
Till next time, happy listening.