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Dashing and Dancing

A marching band - without double basses!

Dashing and Dancing

This (we hope) upbeat Quiz is all about such types of music as the march and various dances. Breathe in, chin up and best foot forward!

Malcolm Arnold wrote a march celebrating the launch of a new lifeboat in the late 1960s, during which piece we hear the boat's siren (deliberately off-key from the music) and a plucky 'development' section ~ with lots of anguished chords and surging scales ~ depicting the boat butting its gallant way through a stormy sea.
What is the title of the piece?
Over the Waves
Swift to the Rescue
The Padstow Lifeboat
Angel of the Seas
A graphic, entertaining and amusing concert piece; definitely not one to be marched-to!
The obvious upbeat nature of a march makes it an ear-catching piece for other purposes such as signature tunes and commercial soundtracks. The British TV series Monitor used a March for String Orchestra (not a very practical piece as such, when you consider it for a moment: how would the double-basses cope?) ... by which composer, from his Serenade of 1937?
Dag Wiren
Trevor Duncan
Roy Douglas
Eric Coates
This was probably Wiren's most famous work, though he wrote plenty more including symphonies and film-scores. Do not confuse this march (in the same key) with the 'Dr. Findlay' signature tune by 'Trevor Duncan' (real name: Leonard Trebilco, but who needed a pseudonym for his musical submissions to the BBC ~ since his 'day-job' contract as a sound engineer expressly forbade him to have any concurrent artistic involvement with the Corporation)
In terms of having descriptive pieces of music written for or about them, which of these is the odd one out?
The Little Tin (or Lead) Soldiers
The Sugar-Plum Fairy
The Hours
The Seven Veils
These are all generally well-known classical dances, apart from No.1 which fairly obviously would be a march. The alternative title could refer to 'toy' marches by Leon Jessel or Gabriel Pierné
Gilbert and Sullivan's The Gondoliers (1889) is ~ predictably enough ~ set in Venice, yet pulls in plentiful references from elsewhere around the shores of the Mediterranean, such as a character called the Duke of Plaza-Toro (cod-Spanish for 'bullring'). The rumbustious finale combines the titles of three Spanish dances: which are they?
Tango, Bolero, Fandango
Fandango, Cachuca, Siciliana
Bolero, Cachuca, Saltarello
Cachuca, Fandango, Bolero
Of the 'distractors', the Tango (Answer 1) apparently originated in the bordellos of Buenos Aires (roughly at the same time as Ragtime developed in similar surroundings in New Orleans); the Siciliana is a gentle, lilting Baroque dance from Italy (as its name suggests) while the Saltarello is a more northerly Italian peasant dance in quick jig time.
Gilbert's lyrics inherently call for the castanets, and Sullivan's music offers stimulating scope for any show choreographer!
There are various ceremonial marches within the operas of Richard Wagner, such as the solemn Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin and pieces within 'The Mastersingers', but it was an unrelated composer by the same common surname, Josef Franz Wagner (Wagner = 'Carter'), who wrote ~ among 'scores' of others ~ a characteristic march in honour of the armorial emblem of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. What is the title of the march?
Orb and Sceptre
Pomp and Circumstance
Under the Double Eagle
Crown Imperial
The emblem was a double-headed eagle, and the deeply characteristic but attractive march can easily be accessed by title on YouTube and elsewhere. (Its original German title is Unter dem Doppeladler.)
This Quiz is being drafted in the weeks prior to the Great War centenary, so all the 'distractors' in this Question are resolutely British, however pompous or jingoistic their titles may seem. Answers 1 and 4 are by William Walton, and No. 3 by Edward Elgar. If you can cope with more than one march at a sitting, each of them would well repay a hearing
In terms of time-signature, which of these dances is the odd one out?
Each of the upper three Answers is a dance in (usually) middling 3-in-a-bar time, though there are also fast waltzes and the syncopated jazz-waltz; the Laendler is a Tyrolean country dance which may well have been its precursor. The Polka is emphatically a two-step
Which Spanish composer created, in 1915, the Ritual Fire Dance in his ballet El Amor Brujo?
Isaac Albeniz
Manuel de Falla
Enrique Granados
Francisco Tarrega
Appropriately or otherwise, his surname, correctly pronounced in Spanish, sounds not unlike the English word 'fire' (which in Spanish, of course, is fuego).
Meanwhile Tarrega was dead by 1909, though not before having written a Gran Vals for guitar, a fragment of which was 'nicked' by Nokia for its classic mobile phone ringtone (the one that people still imitate as the archetypical irritating interruptor ~ not least of classical music concerts!) ~ try 15 seconds into this clip, if still available, or any other equivalent : Tarrega Gran Vals (Accessed 25 June 2014)
Francois Chopin ~ 'the poet of the piano' ~ brought several traditional European dance forms into the salon, writing and playing examples of the music for them as pieces to be listened to in their own right, rather than as a means to a social end for dancing and pairing-off. Which of the following categories of his piano pieces, often published as such in separate sets or volumes, is NOT based on a dance form?
The Nocturne is a serenade rather than a dance, and Chopin's development of the style (originated by the Irishman John Field, incidentally) makes frequent expressive use of rubato ('pulling the time around'), making coordination difficult if the pianist were accompanying a dancer. The ballet suite based on Chopin piano music, Les Sylphides, does indeed include at least one Nocturne, and its most widely used orchestration is by Roy Douglas, from 1936 (whom we slipped in at Q.2 A.3 above, and at time of writing is still alive at the aged of 106-and-a-half!)
In his Carnival of the Animals, a splendidly characterful and generally light-hearted work, Camille Saint-Saens sets his 'tortoises' to a vastly slow-motion, lower-register version of a then-recent up-tempo dance. What was the original work?
Galop from Orpheus in the Underworld by Jacques Offenbach
Bahn Frei ('Way clear') Polka by Johann Strauss
Waltz of the Nymphs by Tchaikovsky
Gavotte by Fritz Kreisler
In its original form this is rather more widely known as 'the Can-Can' (this being the style of dance performed to it)
Not all dances need to be frenetically brisk or energetic. Erik Satie, in the closing years of the 19th century, wrote a series of three Gymnopedies for piano (later beautifully and understatedly orchestrated by Debussy) in slow three-time. To what form of rhythmic exercise does their title allude?
Celebrating the slow emergence of new growth in the springtime
The bodily physical-training done by naked classical youths, as depicted on urns discovered by archaeologists; perhaps a little like Tai Chi
A mock courtship dance between individuals as they transition from childhood into adolescence
A Renaissance discipline for cultivating elegant motion and balance of the feet, through very slow and controlled movement
The title is itself a neologism, but Answer 2 seems the most comprehensive and likely. For further on this please refer to Wikipedia


Author:  Ian Miles

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