9 Classical Music facts inspired by International Dog Day
It’s well known that some dogs find classical music as soothing as people do, but did you know some of our most famous composers wrote music inspired by their canine companions?
To mark International Dog Day, Town Hall Symphony Hall found 9 paw-sitively brilliant facts about dogs and classical music, inspired by some of the concert programmes included in THSH's Birmingham Classical 2019/20 Season.
Many people know Chopin’s famous Minute Waltz as the theme tune of BBC Radio’s Just A Minute, but did you know it was initially called the Little Dog Waltz? It is thought that Chopin was inspired by watching his lover George Sand’s dog Marquis chasing its tail.
Elgar’s love of dogs is well-documented- in his old age his beloved pets became more and more important to him. Variation XI (G.R.S) of the Enigma Variations was inspired by a local bulldog falling down a bank into the River Wye and then paddling up stream to climb back out.
It is said that the Hungarian composer used to send clippings of his dog’s fur to fans who wrote to him asking for locks of his hair, as he could not keep up with all the requests – truly the height of Lisztomania!
Lauren Zhang plays music by Liszt at Town Hall on 27 June 2020
Although there are no movements dedicated to canines in Saint-Saëns’ famous Carnival of the Animals, the French composer loved dogs, naming one pet Dalila – maybe in reference to his opera Samson et Dalila.