The other day, a student and I were looking at a piece with a l-o-n-g crescendo marking on it and she wondered how long the longest crescendo was in any piece.
For those who don’t remember, crescendo means to get louder and decrescendo means to get softer. The sample below gets louder, then softer.
But I got a bit off-track. While my student was trying her hand (no pun intended!) and the long crescendo, I looked up how long the longest one might be and found…
The longest crescendo in music is probably Ravel’s “Bolero,” which is, in fact, one long crescendo. Another very long crescendo occurs in the first movement of Shostakovich’s “Leningrad” Symphony. … “Rossini crescendos” are much shorter but quite effective. Jul 26, 2013
Most everyone, including my student, knows that this is possibly my least favorite piece of music but I still played a bit of it for her anyway.
Although not really a piano piece
I like this flashmob version best
In a video that looks just like a segment of Disney’s Silly Symphonies or Fantasia, artist Simon Brethé animates the pentagram, making the notes of Ravel’s Bolero do feats ranging from charming a snake (the oboe) to serenading a girl at her window (the saxophone). At one point of the performance, one member of the string ensemble gets his bow tangled in the pentagram, a distraction that, subsequently, wreaks havoc in the entire orchestra.