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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


One Response to Puzzle for the Week of October 29

  1. John DeMaio says:

    Four years ago I graduated college and same back home. When I was moving all my junk into my parents house I had little “ready” for my arrival. I found myself in my old room in my old house late into the night with only an old hand held radio to help pass the time. On that radio I was fortunate enough to be able to tune into Bill McGlaughlin’s Exploring Music session for that night. It lead to me WQXR radio which I’m now a sustaining member of and more importantly a daily listener. This is something special to me because when I was very young my father would play classical music in my bedroom which I shared with my brother and sister while we slept. I hated it and I couldn’t tell you why. But these days when someone asks me what my favorite music is, I – to their surprise, reply with ‘Classical.’
    I listen tonight to the all so familiar Bill McGlaughlin on air listen to great music that I have never heard before but connect with very deeply.
    Thank you,

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