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Thread: Intense "Apocalyptic" symphony - can't remember name...

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    Question Intense "Apocalyptic" symphony - can't remember name...

    Hi,

    I've spent all week trying to find this piece. I can remember watching it on YouTube a few months ago, loved it, but can't remember the name anymore. It was an orchestral piece, I don't think it was too long - I think it had some calm high strings playing, then suddenly, chaos! I remember a youtube comment that described this second part as "ww3, bombs and destruction" - loud brass chords and rapidly descending high strings/piano. Very intense and dark. I think the basic notes at this part were something like: D-D-d#-D#-D-a#(down)-D-A#-D [Upper case letters representing quarter notes and lower case representing eighth notes, roughly].

    Another distinguishing feature about this piece - I can remember it being described in a quote (I can't remember who said this, either...), possibly written on the score, as "not for small-spirited men" - or something like that, maybe it was small-souled or weak-hearted or something to that effect. I thought I read this in Daniel Levitin's book "This is Your Brain On Music" but I've skimmed through it and couldn't find anything helpful.

    If I had to guess, I'd say this piece was written in the early 20th century... although I suppose it could have been anytime in the 19th century as well.

    It sounds a little similar to Chopin's Revolutionary Etude, especially 1:20 to 1:30 in this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mk1JQk90UbY

    Thank you very much, any suggestions are appreciated, I will edit this post if I remember more.

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    Senior Member Norse's Avatar
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    The notes you wrote made me think of Chopin's etude no.11 from op.25. I've never heard of an orchestration of this piece, so I figured it might have been a coincidence. I checked the etude's wikipedia page to see if an orchestral arrangement was mentioned. It wasn't, but at the end of the article I saw this:

    The American music writer and critic James Huneker, in his preface to the Schirmer edition of Chopin's études, famously asserted of this étude, "Small-souled men, no matter how agile their fingers, should not attempt it."

    I find it hard to believe that both the notes you wrote and this quote is just a coincidence, but I still can't find any orchestration of the piece. Maybe I'm searching for the wrong words or something.

    This is the etude:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvifHFt9Kuw

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    That's it! Thank you! Strange how I remember it so vividly as an orchestral piece, but this is definitely what I was searching for.

    Nice forum you have here, I think I'll stick around .

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    Senior Member Norse's Avatar
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    Well, I guess it's an impressive piano piece when it is remembered as an orchestral piece.

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