This is a good example of the kind of question I think we should have more of. The violin playing only in descending thirds and ascending sixths is a unique clue and famous aspect of the piece for those who study music. The last movement of the piece being a set of thirty-two variations on a Bach theme is famous enough that someone who has only basic familiarity with the piece could still get. And the last sentence, which gives you the composer if you know what's already canon, is fraudable enough that it shouldn't go dead. Would there really be that much objection to some more questions like these appearing in packets?The Gold Gringo wrote: Hans von Bülow called this work a "law unto itself," and the composer of this work claimed that he put the piece together from a couple of entr'actes. The recapitulation of the first movement begins with this work's only marking of 3 p's. In the opening of this work, the violins play only in descending thirds and ascending sixths, though the woodwinds imitate those figures as chords, while the piccolo and triangle only play in the allegro giocoso third movement. The aforementioned chains of falling thirds allude to the composer's song "O Death," while the fourth movement of this work is a set of thirty-two variations on the cantata Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, originally thought to be composed by J.S. Bach. For ten points identify this work by the composer of the Academic Festival Overture which followed three others of the same genre.
ANSWER: Brahms' Fourth Symphony in E minor
While I'm still surprised that this went dead ("response to justified criticism" is a phrase I've seen on the boards in what I presume was reference to this; it's been in bonuses so the first step towards working it into canon were there; it's Shostakovich's most famous work), I do have to say that the early clues for this tossup are indeed very hard.The Gold Gringo wrote: 6. The low strings open the second movement of this work with a macabre variation on the first movement's second theme, while the repeated A in the violins and high woodwinds at the end of this work is a quotation from the composer's song 'Rebirth.' Its first movement opens with the cellos and violins leaping up and down minor sixths, and closes with a chromatic scale on the celesta, while the final movement was described as a 'parody of shrillness' in its composer's autobiography Testimony. Written out of the composer's desire to return to heroic classicism after the poor reception of Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, for 10 points, identify this Shostakovich symphony sometimes called a "response to justified criticism."
ANSWER: Symphony No. 5 in D minor [accept A Soviet Artist's Response to Justified Criticism before that is read, but also accept 'practical' or similar words in place of 'justified.']
If it went dead, it's probably because it just isn't as canonical as, say, Leningrad. True, it has a subtitle, but I can see a lot of people missing the exact wording.
Okay, thanks. This makes more sense now.The Gold Gringo wrote:No, they're both well-represented as they should be. This is just an example that a teacher once told me. All I'm saying is that criteria for judging an answer's difficulty will not always correlate with each other.ThisIsMyUsername wrote: I'm afraid that I'm one of those people who tends to line up for Rachmaninov concerts (as I do love his music) and hide from Schoenberg ones. But are you suggesting that Rachmaninov should have a smaller place in the canon, because his popularity has obfuscated his lack of historical significance, or rather that you think Schoenberg is getting too small a place in the canon because he's not popular with the concert-going public?
I very much agree with your last sentence. The point of debate for me is what kind of answers people should be studying for. I think they should reflect the pieces that people care about in the real world much more than the current canon seems to and I am advocating width expansion on that grounds. I think the idea that I want more answers to tossups that require technical knowledge of music or that I want a wholesale reappraisal of the entire canon (as some posts have suggested) is a misrepresentation of my views, as I think reading what I wrote would support. I'm also worried that people seem to think I want to include more obscure works, when in fact what I want is the exact opposite. I think excluding a whole bunch of very famous pieces of classical music on the grounds that they don't have some kind of memorable nickname is absurd. It has been suggested that this might lead to tossup corpses strewing the ground, but this is only true if either A. a piece is chosen which isn't actually that famous/popular or B. there's a general unfamiliarity within even the music players in quizbowl with some of the most famous/popular pieces of classical music. The former could be avoided with some research, I would think, and the latter would be a troubling problem worth addressing.The Gold Gringo wrote: I'm going to have to side with Andrew here. You can't "fix" the canon instantly, and all player's should have the opportunity to answer questions (at least by the end) if they're willing to put in the study time, regardless of their background or chosen field of study.
I'm too inexperienced to offer good suggestions on exactly what means should be used or how quickly the canon should change, and since Yale doesn't have house-written tournaments, my contribution to a canon-shift would likely be very small no matter what that shift is. I have no argument with people who want to take it slowly. But I still think there should be some expansion in the direction I've indicated, even if done in the smallest of baby steps.