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.
• 1941 ~ Shirley Owens Alston, Singer with The Shirelles
• 1946 ~ Matthew Fisher, English keyboardist with Procol Harum
• 1954 ~ Will Rossiter, Composer, died at the age of 87
• 1964 ~ Louis Gruenberg, Composer, died at the age of 79
• 1964 ~ Rolling Stones recorded their 12×5 album at Chess Studios Chicago
• 1966 ~ The BeatlesPaperback Writer was released in England
• 1966 ~ The Beatles recorded Rain, first to use reverse tapes
• 1966 ~ Janis Joplin’s first live concert in the Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco
• 1966 ~ The Mamas and The Papas won a gold record for Monday, Monday
• 1968 ~ Yury Sergeyevich Milyutin, Composer, died at the age of 65
• 1972 ~ Elvis Presley recorded a live album at NY’s Madison Square Garden
• 1972 ~ The Rolling Stones double album Exile On Main Street went to No.1 on the UK chart, the band’s seventh UK No.1 album. In 2010, the re-released album entered the UK chart at No.1, almost 38 years to the week after it first occupied that position. The Rolling Stones are the first act to ever have a studio album return to No.1 after it was first released.
• 1972 ~ Sammy Davis, Jr. earned his place at the top of the popular music charts for the first time, after years in the entertainment business. His number one song, The Candy Man, stayed at the top for three consecutive weeks. The Candy Man was truly a song of fate for Sammy. He openly did not want to record the song, but did so as a favor to MGM Records head Mike Curb, since it was to be used in the film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Davis said he would give the tune one take, “and that’s it!” Sure enough, in that one-time recording, Sammy nailed it. The Candy Man stayed on the pop charts for 16 weeks. The best the legendary performer had done before was 12 weeks for Love Me or Leave Me in 1955 and 11 weeks for I’ve Gotta Be Me (from Golden Rainbow) in 1969. After The Candy Man became a hit, Davis included it in his stage shows and concerts — and collected huge royalties from it.
• 1976 ~ Paul McCartney and Wings set a record for an indoor concert crowd as 67,100 fans gathered in Seattle, WA to hear the former Beatle and his new group.
• 1982 ~ Addie “Micki” Harris, American singer with the Shirelles, died at the age of 42
• 1985 ~ Nineteenth Music City News Country Awards: Statler Brothers, Barbara Mandrell
• 1990 ~ “Meet Me St Louis” closed at Gershwin Theater NYC after 253 performances
• 1992 ~ Hachidal Nakamura, Composer, died at the age of 61 of heart failure
• 1996 ~ Thirtyth Music City News Country Awards: Alan Jackson
• 2001 ~ Pianist Yaltah Menuhin, last of three famous siblings whose musical talents brought them fame at an early age, died at the age of 79. Yaltah, the youngest, and her sister Hepzibah, also a pianist, did not achieve the international renown of their brother, the violinist Yehudi Menuhin. But they often appeared with him in concerts around the world, including the Bath Festival in Britain, where Yehudi was artistic director in the 1960s. Yaltah Menuhin was born in San Francisco, to Russian-Jewish parents. Like her siblings, she began studying music as a child, and moved about the world performing. Her brother was astonishing audiences with his virtuosity by the age of 7. Yaltah Menuhin and her husband, pianist Joel Ryce, often performed together as a duo in the United States, and she also performed with violist Michael Mann.
• 2001 ~ Harold S. Grossbardt, a founder of Colony Records, the famed record collector’s store in Manhattan, died at the age of 85. Grossbardt founded the store in 1948 with his partner, Sidney Turk, and the shop quickly became popular with music lovers. Hundreds of musicians, including Frank Sinatra, John Lennon and Michael Jackson, shopped at the store. Grossbardt worked at Colony Records until his retirement in 1988.
• 2004 ~ US singer, songwriter Ray Charles died aged 73. Glaucoma rendered Charles blind at the age of six. He scored the 1962 UK & US No.1 single ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You’ plus over 30 other US Top 40 singles and the 2005 US No.1 album ‘Genius Loves Company.’ Charles who was married twice and fathered twelve children by nine different women appeared in the 1980 hit movie, The Blues Brothers was also the winner of 17 Grammy Awards.