May 25 – Recycling in Classical Music

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Tchaikovsky “Marche Solennelle” (Festival Coronation March)

Tchaikovsky, great composer though he was, had his not-so-inspiring moments. One such moment came in May 1891, when he was invited to compose and conduct a piece for the grand opening of Carnegie Hall. Rather than compose a new piece, he simply recycled one of his earlier compositions and tried to pass it off as an original. But he underestimated the musical intelligence of his American fans: at that grand opening, the audience members immediately recognized the music. HA–caught in the act!

(Watch the majestic Niagara Falls, which Tchaikovsky visited, as you listen to this piece…and learn more about the history of Carnegie Hall.)

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