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Archives: October 2018

Puzzle for the Week of October 29

Demons,Spooks and Other Things That Go Bump in the Night
By James Andrewes

To celebrate Halloween, the Grim Reaper organizes a deathly music party, to which he invites the spirits of his favorite deceased composers. As each one arrives throughout the night, the Reaper conjures up the sounds of that composer’s music.

Upon Beethoven’s arrival, strains of his famous Triple Concerto, op. 56, ring out.
Shostakovich walks in to the eerie sound of his Second String Quartet, op. 68.
As Chopin enters, a haunted, upright piano plays his Scherzo No. 3, op. 39.
Britten arrives to hear a ghostly choir wailing his Missa Brevis in D, op. 63.

Why these specific pieces? If you can figure out the Reaper’s grim logic, answer the following question: what piece of music does the Reaper produce when Elgar makes his appearance?

Think creatively and remember puzzles have no rules!

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Answer:        Elgar’s Symphonic Prelude Polonia, op. 76

The opus number for each work corresponds to the age at which the composer died.
Beethoven: died age 56; Triple Concerto, op. 56
Shostakovich: died age 68; String Quartet No. 2, op. 68
Chopin: died age 39; Scherzo No. 3, op. 39
Britten: died age 63; Missa Brevis in D, op. 63

Since Elgar died age 76, the Reaper played his symphonic prelude Polonia, op. 76


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Exploring Music Puzzles by James Andrewes

James Andrewes lives in Fort Worth, Texas, where he works as Assistant Librarian for the Fort Worth Symphony. He grew up in New Zealand and began learning violin at a young age. His studies eventually took him to the United States, where he earned a Master of Music, followed by degrees in String Quartet Performance and Early Music. For as long as he can remember, James has enjoyed puzzles, riddles, and word games of all kinds, and he is excited to be creating unique musical puzzles for the Exploring Music community.
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