Too Hot to Handel: Listen for Free with the Classical Music Library

If you thought that rowdy behavior during a musical performance happens only at heavy-metal concerts or in honky-tonk bars, consider Stravinsky's ballet of pagan spring rituals, which was so foreign to early 20th century listeners that it caused a riot. It started with fistfights between critics and supporters and resulted in a brawl, with the musicians bravely playing on.

The Classical Music Library (available with your DPL card) is the world's largest database of multi-label classical music recordings, and it is searchable by time period, instrument, composer, performer, publisher, and genre. You can hear everything from medieval Gregorian chants to a modern piece for the lute, Arpeggi, composed and performed by Federico Moscogiuri in 2015.

Did you know that most toilets flush in E flat? Here are some more fun facts about some of the thousands of pieces that can be found in the Classical Music Library:

  • English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (The Lark Ascending and Fantasia on a Theme) composed his first piece at age six and was still composing great music into his 80s.  
  • Domenico Scarlatti's "Cat's Fugue" was composed after his cat, Pulcinella, a music lover, walked across his keyboard.
  • Speaking of cats, Duetto Buffo di due Gatti (track 37, credited to Gioachino Rossini) consists of just one word: meow. It's about two arguing cats and is performed by a soprano and a tenor or bass.  
  • While waiting for his order of risotto in a Venice restaurant, Rossini wrote the aria Di tanti palpiti (track 12).
  • Hottie Hungarian composer Franz Liszt had so many fans requesting locks of his hair that he kept a dog whose fur he would cut off and send in place of his own.
  • The tune of Bach's O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden from The Passion of St. Matthew, written in 1613, is so enduring that Peter, Paul, and Mary recorded their own hippie version of the piece in 1965.

To find the database, just start at our homepage and after clicking on Research, choose Databases A-Z and then choose the letter "C,"  where you'll find Classical Music Library.

Questions? Ask Reference Services or call 720-865-1363 today!

Written by Lisa on September 26, 2017


SuzanneK on October 3, 2017


Terrícolas blog, Lisa! Love the tidbits!


How many other puns are you Haydn in that database? 

Lisa F. on October 4, 2017


Oh, I've got a big Liszt...

GenineP on October 16, 2017


Fun post, Lisa! Guess Liszt's dog was headed for a night on bald mountain.

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