It’s been called “the brightest and most powerful key” that expresses “joy, magnificence, splendor, and the highest brilliancy.” E Major can sound shimmering, as violins can play their highest string without putting a finger on the fingerboard – but Beethoven never wrote a symphony in the key, and some of the pieces with great E major melodies were middle and last movements of pieces in other keys.

Can you name these works? Click and drag over the white space below to highlight the answers (mobile users, scroll down):

  1. Ponchielli: ‘Dance of the Hours’ from La Gioconda
  2. RossiniWilliam Tell Overture
  3. Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto, mvt. 3
  4. Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto no. 2, mvt 2
  5. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5, finale
  6. WagnerTannhauser Overture
  7. Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
  8. Grieg: ‘Morning Mood’ from Peer Gynt
  9. Chopin: Etude, Op. 10, no. 3 ‘Tristesse’
  10. Vivaldi: ‘Spring’ from the Four Seasons
  11. RossiniWilliam Tell Overture

 

 

 

  1. Ponchielli: ‘Dance of the Hours’ from La Gioconda
  2. RossiniWilliam Tell Overture
  3. Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto, mvt. 3
  4. Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto no. 2, mvt 2
  5. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5, finale
  6. WagnerTannhauser Overture
  7. Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
  8. Grieg: ‘Morning Mood’ from Peer Gynt
  9. Chopin: Etude, Op. 10, no. 3 ‘Tristesse’
  10. Vivaldi: ‘Spring’ from the Four Seasons
  11. RossiniWilliam Tell Overture

 

 

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