Six Dances, or as one commentator said, three dances in two blocks, was composed over a seven-year period, 1950 to 1957. Some of the dances sound like Mussorgsky and some like folk song, one is concerned with temperament and another is about rhythm. The work as a whole connects the contemporary with the Romantic.
- In his piece, Castelnuovo-Tedesco gives us an equally mixed piece – a bright Italian dance between the cello and the piano, tempered with a northern celebration of summer. It’s clear that Castelnuovo-Tedesco expects his listeners to know the reference he’s giving them.
- In Braga Santo’s second symphonic overture, he took his native city of Lisbon (Lisboa) as its subject. The work opens with a slow introduction, with a theme in the horn that becomes the core of the following Allegro section. Suddenly, the rest of the orchestra enters with a sprightly melody that drives the story forward.
- Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) first set the text 'Stabat Mater' in 1781 for an unknown occasion. At the time, he was in the employ of the Infante Don Luis in Spain. His first version was for soprano solo and was later revised for three voices in 1800.
- Taiwanese composer Chiayu (b.1975) took inspiration from the Chinese Zodiac for her 2008 composition Twelve Signs. She uses the characteristics of the 12 animals to give definition to each movement through tempo, tonality, and melody. The first movement, Rat, is part of an arching program based on the trines.
- In late August 2001, the Icelandic recording artist Björk put out her album Vespertine. The sound was intended to be intimate, if not domestic. Its mood of sonic experiment, inspired by her recognition of the new world of computer downloaded music, led her to employ sounds that wouldn’t be compromised when played on less than optimal sound systems.
- In December 1983, organist Harry Huff was scheduled to play the New Year’s Eve service at the world’s largest (or second-largest) Anglican Cathedral, New York’s St. John the Divine, located by Columbia University in Morningside Heights in Manhattan. Mr. Huff specifically asked for a piece that would take advantage of the organ’s mammoth State Trumpet and commissioned Calvin Hampton for the work.
- St. Stephen’s Day falls on December 26. On this day, it was tradition to kill a wren. A wren song is sung, about the wren as ‘King of all birds,’ and the ‘wrenboys’ go from door to door begging for money and food as they sing ‘The Wren Song’.