Monday, November 27, 2017

November 27, 1896: Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra premiered

Last updated August 31, 2018.

Also Sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zoroaster), tone poem for orchestra, Op. 30 (TrV 176)

Richard Strauss (composer)

Composed: 1896

First Performance: November 27, 1896

Sales: --

Peak: --

Quotable: --

Genre: classical > orchestra


  1. Einleitung (Introduction)
  2. Von den Hinterweltlern (Of the Backworldsmen)
  3. Von der großen Sehnsucht (Of the Great Longing)
  4. Von den Freuden und Leidenschaften (Of Joys and Passions)
  5. Das Grablied (The Song of the Grave)
  6. Von der Wissenschaft (Of Science and Learning)
  7. Der Genesende (The Convalescent)
  8. Das Tanzlied (The Dance-Song)
  9. Nachtwandlerlied (Song of the Night Wanderer)

Average Duration: 33:30


Strauss, like many of his contemporaries, was enthralled with Richard Wagner. Many of his works exhibit “an intent on Strauss’ part to re-create the spirit of the older composer’s works.” AMG However, in adapting Friedrich Nietzsche’s tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra to music, “Strauss’ music soon took on a distinct identity.” AMG A former Wagner devotee, Nietzsche had become his most vocal critic. By aligning with Nietzsche, “Strauss forever removed himself from the camp of ‘true’ Wagnerians.” AMG

“Like most of Strauss’ tone poems, Also sprach Zarathustra employs massive instrumental forces; however, it provides a contrast to Strauss’ more strongly narrative works in its deployment of the orchestra in a more subtle and deft manner. The relative concision of its musical material suggests the composer’s attempt to mirror the nature and character of his literary source.” AMG He completed it “in the summer of 1896 and premiered in November of the same year…Iit was among the works that forever solidified the composer’s reputation and distilled the essence of his singular orchestral language.” AMG

Opening of 2001: A Space Odyssey

The first of nine sections kicks off with an introduction which has been immortalized in Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Three distinctive episodes follow, each exploring an element of Nietzsche’s text, “from Von den Hinterweltlern (From the Back-world People) to an expression of intense yearning (Von der großen Sehnsucht) and a portrayal of joy and passion (Von den Freuden und Leidenschaften). At the center of the work is Das Grablied (Song of the Grave), which sets the stage for the clever and ironic Von der Wissenschaft, in which a truncated fugue gently pokes fun at science by – perhaps prophetically – including all twelve chromatic pitches in its subject. Der Genesende (The Convalescent) slowly regains its strength, bursting forth into the energetic Das Tanzlied (Dance-Song), led by a solo fiddle.” AMG

“The final section, Nachtwandlerlied (Song of the Night Wanderer), makes subtle use of tonal and thematic cues (most notably, a return to the tonality of the opening section) to suggest that the journey of the unnamed Night Wanderer is cyclic – eternally returning to its beginning.” AMG

Review Source(s):


Related DMDB Link(s):

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Top Albums by Some of the Top Classic Rock Acts

Here are various classic rock acts and their top albums. Lists are determined by rankings in Dave’s Music Database, which compiles sales data, chart info, and appearances on best-of lists to generate its figures. Click on an act below to go directly to its list.
The Beatles: Top 10

David Bowie: Top 10

Eric Clapton: Top 10

This list was originally posted on the Dave’s Music Database Facebook page on 3/2/2010. It has since been updated.

Led Zeppelin: Top 10

Pink Floyd: Top 10

Lou Reed/Velvet Underground: Top 10

The Rolling Stones: Top 10

Bruce Springsteen: Top 10

The Who: Top 10

Neil Young: Top 10

This list was originally posted on the Dave’s Music Database Facebook page on 2/19/2010. It has since been updated.

The Top 100 Acts of All Time

First posted 1/13/2013; revised 11/26/2017.

Below are the top 100 acts of all time according to the DMDB. This list is an aggregate of multiple best-of lists, including specialty lists, such as those focused exclusively on a certain genre.

This information is combined with various awards, chart success, and sales figures (click here for a link to the resources). A great effort has been made to find lists that represent numerous genres and eras of music. Even so, this list still leans almost entirely on the 20th century, or roughly the era of recorded music, meaning classical music, such as composers Ludwig van Beethoven, are absent from this list. Still, this list does do something very few “best of all-time” lists can claim – acknowledge music from before the rock era (although this list still favors acts from the rock era).

Links below connect to the act’s entry in the Music Makers A-Z guide, which offers a short bio about the act and lists significant works. In some cases, the act has a more detailed DMDB page which can be linked to via the A-Z guide entry. In some cases, an act also has a DMDB list of its top songs, indicated in bold after the act’s name.

1. Bing Crosby top 100 songs
2. Elvis Presley top 100 songs
3. The Beatles top 100 songs
4. Frank Sinatra top 100 songs
5. Billy Murray top 100 songs
6. The Rolling Stones top 100 Songs
7. Bob Dylan top 100 songs
8. Michael Jackson top 50 songs
9. Ray Charles
10. Elton John top 70 songs

11. Madonna top 50 songs
12. Paul Whiteman top 100 songs
13. Benny Goodman top 50 songs
14. Stevie Wonder top 50 songs
15. James Brown top 50 songs
16. Aretha Franklin
17. Led Zeppelin top 50 songs
18. Louis Armstrong top 50 songs
19. Jimi Hendrix
20. Chuck Berry

21. Glenn Miller
22. Prince top 50 songs
23. Guy Lombardo
24. Paul McCartney top 70 songs
25. Perry Como
26. Tommy Dorsey
27. David Bowie top 65 songs
28. Bob Marley
29. Bruce Springsteen top 60 songs
30. Nat “King” Cole

31. Fats Domino
32. Marvin Gaye
33. The Beach Boys top 20 songs
34. Eric Clapton top 50 songs
35. Queen top 50 songs
36. Rod Stewart
37. Johnny Cash
38. Pink Floyd top 50 songs
39. U2 top 100 songs
40. Hank Williams

41. Buddy Holly & the Crickets
42. Little Richard
43. Al Jolson
44. Henry Burr
45. Billy Joel top 50 songs
46. The Bee Gees top 40 songs
47. The Who top 30 songs
48. Mariah Carey top 40 songs
49. Fleetwood Mac top 50 songs
50. Whitney Houston top 50 songs

51. Eagles top 70 songs
52. John Lennon top 40 songs
53. Neil Young top 40 songs
54. The Supremes
55. Sam Cooke
56. Duke Ellington
57. Billie Holiday
58. Byron G. Harlan top 50 songs
59. Neil Diamond
60. Aerosmith

61. The Temptations
62. The Doors
63. Chicago
64. Roy Orbison
65. Smokey Robinson
66. Simon & Garfunkel
67. Willie Nelson top 80 songs
68. Diana Ross
69. Dolly Parton
70. B.B. King

71. Ella Fitzgerald
72. Arthur Collins
73. The Jackson 5/The Jacksons
74. Barbra Streisand
75. R.E.M. top 30 songs
76. Miles Davis
77. The Kinks
78. Kenny Rogers
79. Tina Turner
80. Four Tops

81. The Peerless Quartet/Columbia Male Quartet
82. The Everly Brothers
83. Jimmy Dorsey
84. AC/DC
85. Santana
86. Janet Jackson
87. The Andrews Sisters
88. Harry MacDonough
89. Sammy Kaye
90. Ben Selvin

91. Genesis top 50 songs (Phil Collins/Genesis), top 60 songs (Peter Gabriel/Genesis)
92. The Police top 60 songs (Sting & the Police)
93. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers top 30 songs
94. Phil Collins top 50 songs
95. Nirvana
96. Otis Redding
97. Al Green
98. Earth, Wind & Fire
99. Gladys Knight
100. Fats Waller

Billy Murray: Top 100 Songs

image from

Billy Murray ranks as the #5 act of all time according to Dave’s Music Database (see the top 100 here). He’s landed 14 songs in the DMDB’s list of the top 1000 songs of all time (see here) and he’s had 27 #1 songs (noted below with #1 after the song title) on the Billboard pop charts.

1. You’re a Grand Old Flag (1906) #1
2. Take Me Out to the Ball Game (with Haydn Quartet, 1908) #1
3. Give My Regards to Broadway (1905) #1
4. Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis (1904) #1
5. By the Light of the Silvery Moon (with Haydn Quartet, 1910) #1
6. Yankee Doodle Boy (1905) #1
7. Casey Jones (with American Quartet, 1910) #1
8. In My Merry Oldsmobile (1905) #1
9. Oh You Beautiful Doll (with American Quartet, 1911) #1
10. Harrigan (1907) #1

11. Come Josephine in My Flying Machine (with Ada Jones, 1911) #1
12. Cuddle Up a Little Closer, Lovey Mine (with Ada Jones, 1908) #1
13. Pretty Baby (1916) #1
14. That Old Gang of Mine (with Ed Smalle, 1923) #1
15. K-K-K-Katy (Stammering Song) (1918)
16. Navajo (1904) #1
17. Be My Little Baby Bumble Bee (with Ada Jones, 1912) #1
18. Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1911)
19. Shine on Harvest Moon (with Ada Jones, 1909) #1
20. Play a Simple Melody (with Edna Brown, 1916)

21. Come Take a Trip in My Air Ship (1905) #1
22. Everybody Works But Father (1905) #1
23. Camptown Races (Gwine to Run All Night) (1911)
24. Waltz Me Around Again, Willie (with Haydn Quartet, 1906)
25. Forty-Five Minutes from Broadway (1906)
26. Let’s Take an Old-Fashioned Walk (with Ada Jones, 1907) #1
27. Under the Anheuser Busch (1904)
28. I’ll See You in C-U-B-A (1920)
29. Alexander (Don’t You Love Your Baby No More?) (1904) #1
30. Over There (1917)

31. Teasing (I Was Only Teasing You) (1904)
32. I Love a Piano (1916) #1
33. I’m Afraid to Come Home in the Dark (1908)
34. No Wedding Bells for Me (1907)
35. Bedelia (1904) #1
36. Down by the O-hi-O (I’ve Got the Sweetest Little O, My! O!) (with Billy Jones, 1921)
37. For Me and My Gal (1917)
38. He’d Have to Get Under, Get Out to Get Under, to Fix Up His Automobile (1914)
39. When We Are M-A-R-R-I-E-D (with Ada Jones, 1908) #1
40. Under Any Old Flag at All (1908) #1

41. I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now (1910)
42. Carrie (Carrie Marry Harry) (1910) #1
43. Make Believe (with Ada Jones, 1908)
44. It Had to Be You (with Aileen Stanley, 1924)
45. After You’ve Gone (with Gladys Rice, 1919)
46. He’s a Devil in His Own Home Town (1914)
47. San Antonio (Cowboy Song) (1907)
48. Wouldn’t You Like to Have Me for a Sweetheart? (with Ada Jones, 1908) #1
49. Alcoholic Blues (1919)

50. I Can’t Do the Sum (1904)
51. Any Little Girl That’s a Nice Girl Is the Right Little Girl for Me (with the American Quartet, 1910)
52. All Alone (with Ada Jones, 1911)
53. My Sweetie Went Away (with Ed Salle, 1923)
54. Cheyenne (Shy Anne) (1906)
55. Yes! We Have No Bananas (with Great White Way Orchestra, 1923)
56. It Looks Like a Big Night Tonight (1908)
57. What’s the Matter with Father? (1910)
58. What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For? (with Ada Jones, 1917)
59. Yankee Doodle Blues (with Ed Smalle, 1922)
60. College Life (1906)

61. Won’t You Be My Honey? (with Ada Jones, 1907)
62. He Goes to Church on Sunday (1907)
63. Take Me Up with You, Dearie (with Haydn Quartet, 1909)
64. Up in a Cocoanut Tree (1903)
65. The Gaby Glide (1912)
66. Streets of New York (1907)
67. Not Because Your Hair Is Curly (1906)
68. Tessie (You Are the Only Only) (1903)
69. Hinky Dinky Parlay Voo (Mademoiselle from Armentieres) (with Ed Smalle, 1924)
70. Casey Jones (1910)

71. Ain’t It Funny What a Difference a Few Hours Can Make (1904)
72. Stumbling (1922)
73. I Wish I Had a Girl (1909)
74. Smarty (with Ada Jones, 1908)
75. I Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight (with Henry Burr, 1926)
76. I’ve Taken Quite a Fancy to You (with Ada Jones, 1908)
77. Bagada (1913)
78. Because I’m Married Now (1907)
79. Are You from Dixie? ‘Cause I’m from Dixie Too (with Irving Kaufman, 1916)
80. Bon Bon Buddy (1908)

81. When You’re All Dressed Up and No Place to Go (1914)
82. The Vamp (with Joseph C. Smith & Harry MacDonough, 1919)
83. They Were All Out of Step But Jim (1918)
84. I’m Awfully Glad I Met You (with Ada Jones, 1909)
85. On the Mississippi (1913)
86. On San Francisco Bay (1907)
87. The Wedding Glide (with Ada Jones, 1912)
88. If You Talk in Your Sleep, Don’t Mention My Name (1912)
89. Dance of the Grizzly Bear (with American Quartet, 1911)
90. I’m Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover (with Jean Goldkette, 1927)

91. Keep on the Sunny Side (1906)
92. It’s Great to Be a Soldier (1907)
93. Take Me Around Again (1907)
94. Whistle It (with Ada Jones, 1907)
95. Gee But It’s Great to Meet a Friend from Your Own Home Town (1911)
96. Charley, My Boy (with International Novelty Orchestra, 1924)
97. My Cousin Caruso (1909)
98. Play That Barber-Shop Chord (with American Quartet, 1910)
99. The Game of Peek-a-Boo (I’d Like to See a Little More of You) (1907)
100. It’s Nice to Have a Sweetheart (with Ada Jones, 1907)

Bing Crosby: Top 100 Songs

image from Pinterest

Bing Crosby ranks as the #1 act of all time according to Dave’s Music Database (see the top 100 here). He’s landed 19 songs in the DMDB’s list of the top 1000 songs of all time (see here), including the #1 song of all time, “White Christmas.” He’s had 41 #1 songs (noted below with #1 after the song title) on the Billboard pop charts, more than double the Beatles’ 20 chart-toppers in the rock era.

Here are his top 100 songs according to Dave’s Music Database, which compiles sales, chart performance, radio airplay, and best-of lists. Note: AS = Andrews Sisters, GA = Gus Arnheim’s Orchestra, GS = George Stoll Orchestra, JST = John Scott Trotter Orchestra, LH = Lennie Hayton’s Orchestra, PW = Paul Whiteman’s Orchestra, RB = Rhythm Boys (Bing Crosby, Al Rinker, & Harry Barris), VS = Vic Schoen Orchestra, VY = Victor Young’s Orchestra

1. White Christmas (1942, with the Ken Darby Singers & JST) #1
2. Pennies from Heaven (1936, with GS) #1
3. I’ll Be Seeing You (1944, with the JST) #1
4. Swinging on a Star (1944, with the Williams Brothers Quartet & JST) #1
5. Silent Night (1935, with the Guardsmen Quartette)
6. Don’t Fence Me In (1944, with AS & VS) #1
7. Sweet Leilani (1937, with Lani McIntyre & His Hawaiians) #1
8. Dinah (1932, with the Mills Brothers) #1
9. People Will Say We’re in Love (1943, with Trudy Erwin & the Sportsmen Glee Club)
10. Sunday, Monday or Always (1943, with the Ken Darby Singers) #1

11. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (1947, with AS & VS)
12. Out of Nowhere (1931, with VY) #1
13. Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ (1943, with Trudy Erwin & the Sportsmen Glee Club)
14. It’s Been a Long, Long Time (1945, with the Les Paul Trio) #1
15. I’ll Be Home for Christmas (1943, with JST)
16. Now Is the Hour (1948, with the Ken Darby Singers) #1
17. June in January (1934, with GS) #1
18. Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1938, with Connee Boswell & JST) #1
19. Shadow Waltz (1933, with Jimmy Grier’s Orchestra) #1
20. You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby (1938, with Bob Crosby) #1

21. Three Little Words (1930, Duke Ellington with RB) #1
22. Without a Song (1929, with PW)
23. I Love You (1944, with JST) #1
24. Only Forever (1940) #1
25. Great Day (1929, with PW) #1
26. Jingle Bells (1943, with AS & VS)
27. I’ve Got a Pocketful of Dreams (1938, with JST) #1
28. Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? (1932, with LH) #1
29. What’s New? (1939)
30. Side by Side (1927, PW with RB)

31. Too Marvelous for Words (1937, with Jimmy Dorsey’s Orchestra) #1
32. Love in Bloom (1934< with Irving Aaronson’s Orchestra) #1
33. You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me (1933, with Guy Lombardo’s Orchestra) #1
34. Moonlight Becomes You (1942, with JST) #1
35. Where the Blue of the Night Meets the Gold of the Day (1932)
36. I Can’t Begin to Tell You (1945, with Carmen Cavallaro’s Orchestra) #1
37. I Surrender Dear (1931, with GA)
38. Ol’ Man River (1928, with PW) #1
39. Please (1932, with Anson Weeks’ Orchestra) #1
40. The Whiffenpoof Song (1947, with Fred Waring’s Glee Club)

41. Star Dust (1931)
42. Home on the Range (1933, with LH)
43. I Don’t Stand a Ghost of a Chance with You (1933)
44. Sierra Sue (1940, with JST) #1
45. You Took Advantage of Me (1928, with PW, Jack Fulton, Charles Gaylord, and Austin Young)
46. Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1947, with Al Jolson & Morris Stoloff’s Orchestra)
47. South America, Take It Away (1945, with AS & VS)
48. Night and Day (1946)
49. McNamara’s Band (1946, with the Jesters & Bob Haggart’s Orchestra)
50. Just One More Chance (1931, with VY) #1

51. The Moon Got in My Eyes (1937, with JST) #1
52. Sioux City Sue (1946, with the Jesters & Bob Haggart’s Orchestra)
53. Galway Bay (1949, with VY)
54. It’s Easy to Remember (1935, with GS) #1
55. Bob White (Whatcha Gonna Swing Tonight?) (1937, with Connee Boswell & JST) #1
56. Soon (1935, with GS) #1
57. Just an Echo in the Valley (1933)
58. True Love (1956, with Grace Kelly)
59. San Fernando Valley (1944, with JST) #1
60. I’m an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande (1936, with Jimmy Dorsey’s Orchestra)

61. Little Dutch Mill (1934, with Jimmy Grier’s Orchestra) #1
62. Trade Winds (1940, with Dick McIntyre’s Orchestra) #1
63. Some Enchanted Evening (1949)
64. At Your Command (1931) #1
65. Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That’s an Irish Lullaby) (1944, with JST)
66. An Apple for the Teacher (1939, with Connee Boswell)
67. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive (1945, with AS & VS)
68. In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening (1951, with Jane Wyman)
69. Dear Hearts and Gentle People (1949, with Perry Botkin’s Orchestra)
70. I’m Coming Virginia (1927, PW with RB)

71. You Belong to My Heart (1945, with Xavier Cugat’s Orchestra)
72. Mexicali Rose (1938, with JST)
73. My Melancholy Baby (1939)
74. Small Fry (1938, with Johnny Mercer & VY)
75. Be Careful, It’s My Heart (1942, with JST)
76. You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want to Do It) (1940, with the Merry Macs & VY)
77. Silver Bells (1952, with Carol Richards)
78. God Bless America (1939)
79. Dancing in the Dark (1931)
80. Love Thy Neighbor (1934, with Nat Finston’s Orchestra)

81. Pistol Packin’ Mama (1943, with AS & VS)
82. Long Ago and Far Away (1944, with JST)
83. Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (1931, with GA)
84. Amor (1944, with JST)
85. Red Sails in the Sunset (1935, with VY) #1
86. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1950, with JST)
87. Remember Me? (1937, with JST) #1
88. If I Loved You (1945, with JST)
89. Moonlight Bay (1951, with Gary Crosby)
90. Make Believe (1928, with PW)

91. Like Someone in Love (1945, with JST)
92. There’ll Be a Hot Time in the Town of Berlin When the Yanks Go Marching In (1944, with AS & VS) #1
93. There’s No Business Like Show Business (1947, with AS & VS)
94. Ol’ Man River (1956, with the Buddy Cole Trio)
95. Deep Purple (1939, with Matty Malneck’s Orchestra)
96. Some of These Days (1932, with LH)
97. After You’ve Gone (1930, with PW)
98. Robins and Roses (1936)
99. Love Me Tonight (1932)
100. On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe (1945, with Six Hits and a Miss & JST)

Friday, November 10, 2017

Taylor Swift released Reputation

Originally posted March 7, 2019.


Taylor Swift

Released: November 10, 2017

Peak: #14 US, #11 UK, #13 CN, #12 AU

Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 0.1 UK, 4.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: pop

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Ready for It? (9/3/17, 4 US, 26 AC, 10 A40, 7 UK, 7 CN, 3 AU, worldwide sales: 2.5 million)
  2. End Game (with Ed Sheeran & Future, 11/14/17, 18 US, 14 A40, 49 UK, 11 CN, 36 AU)
  3. I Did Something Bad
  4. Don’t Blame Me
  5. Delicate (3/12/18, 12 US, 110 AC, 14 A40, 45 UK, 20 CN, 28 AU, worldwide sales: 1.44 million)
  6. Look What You Made Me Do (8/24/17, 13 US, 19 AC, 7 A40, 12 UK, 13 CN, 12 AU, worldwide sales: 5.6 million)
  7. So It Goes
  8. Gorgeous (11/11/17, 13 US, 15 UK, 9 CN, 9 AU, worldwide sales: 0.77 million)
  9. Getaway Car
  10. King of My Heart
  11. Dancing with Our Hands Tied
  12. Dress
  13. This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
  14. Call It What You Want (11/25/17, 27 US)
  15. New Year’s Day (11/27/17, 33 CW)


For her sixth album, Taylor Swift turned to producers Jack Antonoff, Max Martin, and Shellback – all of whom she’d worked with on 1989 album. While that album completed Swift’s transition to pop stardom, this album is arguably her “first self-consciously ‘adult’ record,” AMG “preoccupied with sex, betrayal, and the scars they leave behind.” AMG Previous albums focused on “the singer/songwriter who grew up in public” AMG as “ a babe in the woods” AMG while this one deals with themes such as “handling fame and media coverage of celebrities.” WK

Sonically, Reputation has been described as “brash, weaponized pop” (Neil McCormick, The Daily Telegraph) WK and “another shift, this time into electronic pop” (Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune). WK Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield said this album “builds on the synth-pop of 1989.” WK Reputation “achieves a steely, nocturnal sound,” AMG “dwelling on drum loops and synthesizers.” AMG

This sound is established from the opening song, Ready for It?, which has been described as and “electronic-inspired…industrial pop song with elements of tropical house, dubstep, and trap music.” WK Swift said the song is “about finding your own partner in crime” WK and that it “introduces a metaphor you may hear more of throughout…this kind of Crime and Punishment metaphor.” WK

Look What You Made Me Do, the lead single, treads similar electro-pop territory, interpolating “I’m Too Sexy” by the British dance-pop group Right Said Fred. The song started as a poem “about realizing that you couldn’t trust certain people, but realizing you appreciate the people you can trust.” WK The song hit #1 in at least 15 countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom and amassed more than a billion views on YouTube.

Delicate, another single, was about “what happens when you meet somebody that you really want in your life and then you start worrying about what they’ve heard before they met you.” WK Swift wanted to use the vocoder on the song to create “an emotional and vulnerable sound for the track.” WK

Nearly “every song on Reputation has a cool, gleaming patina that’s designed to put an alluring distance between Swift and the listener.” AMG The exception is “the delicate closer New Year’s Day,” AMG a song which “explores the flip side of the romanticism of a New Year’s Eve kiss.” WK It is about the person who “sticks around the next day to give you Adil and clean up the house.” WK

There is some “awkwardness that’s distracting upon first listen but less so on revisits” AMG and “what’s left is a coming of age album anchored by some strong Swift songs” AMG which “carry Swift’s trademark blend of vulnerability, melody, and confidence.” AMG “They are deeply felt and complex, signs that all of the heavy-handed persona plays of reputation were a necessary exercise for her to mature as a singer/songwriter.” AMG

Review Source(s):


Thursday, November 9, 2017

November 9, 1901: Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 premiered

Last updated August 31, 2018.

Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18

Sergey Rachmaninov (composer)

Composed: 1900-01

First Performed: November 9, 1901

Sales: --

Peak: --

Quotable: --

Genre: classical > concerto


  1. Moderato
  2. Adagio Sostenuto
  3. Allegro Scherzando

Average Duration: 33:40


Rachmaninov suffered a series of failures at the end of the nineteenth century. He was expelled from music school in 1885 and, after the failure of his first symphony in 1897, he turned to drinking. RD By 1899, his alcoholism was threatening his career – his hands shook to the point of hampering his ability to play. In 1900, he turned to neuropsychotherapy, hypnosis, and trance therapy to turn things around. It worked – not only did he compose this concerto, but over the last 40 years of his life, he never succumbed again to depression. RD

“The opening, C minor, movement in sonata form was composed last; structurally it is the most conventional. Ten bars of unaccompanied keyboard chords lead directly to a palpitant principal theme for violins, violas, and clarinets — motivic rather than tuneful, despite a melismatic extension for cellos. An episode links this to the second theme, in E flat, one of Rachmaninov’s most celebrated melodies, introduced by the piano. Following the development and a maestoso alla marcia reprise, there’s a brilliant coda — but no solo cadenza, yet.” RD

“In the E major, Adagio sostenuto movement, after four bars of Tchaikovskian string chords, piano arpeggios introduce a two-part principal theme, played first by the solo flute, then by the solo clarinet. Piano and orchestra develop both parts before a Tchaikovsky-like theme for bassoons nudges the tempo a bit. Further development goes even quicker, culminating in a solo cadenza that’s been teasingly postponed, after which the original material returns, soulfully.” RD

“The finale is an Allegro scherzando in C major. The strings play a rhythmic figure that builds to a staccato climax. The piano enters with a flourish, setting up the principal subject — again, as before in I, motivic rather than tuneful, but admirably constructed for developing. This is followed by another of Rachmaninov’s signature melodies, lushly undulant, sung by the solo oboe and strings. (In the postwar 1940s, this was garnished with words and performed unrelentingly by big-band vandals as Full Moon and Empty Arms). A fugato brings back the principal subject, followed by a Maestoso statement of ‘The Tune.’ Accelerating fistfuls of piano chords set up a crowd-rousing conclusion.” RD

The first performance of this concerto was “on November 9, 1901, with Alexandre Siloti conducting the Moscow Philharmonic Society.” RD

Review Source(s):