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Better Nicknames

7044 Views 50 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  MoonlightSonata
I was just thinking about the famous works that are usually referred to by their nicknames, and about the nicknames that don't fit. The two that came to mind were Beethoven's "Moonlight" and "Tempest" sonatas, both nicknames given by publishers/biographers because of myths on what the music is "supposed to be about"

I'm not against nicknames; I think they make it easier to remember the piece, and they also can sum up the mood of the work, or what the listener should think about when listening. Yet there are pieces with nicknames, like the two mentioned, that aren't the best.

So, what are some pieces that you guys think have good nicknames? How about pieces you think have bad nicknames? And for the bad ones, what could be a better nickname? Or maybe, the piece shouldn't even have one at all!
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One nickname cannot be improved: Bruckner symphony 1 "The Saucy Maid".

I wonder if pieces with nicknames don't sometimes get more attention than they deserve. I'm not sure what fuss is about the Kreutzer Sonata (which has nothing to do with anybody named Kreutzer).
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There may be more than 512 pieces of classical music, unfortunately for your system.
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I think opus numbers are already quite good for this...
So assign every composer a prime number and every work can by uniquely identified by multiplying the composer number by the opus number. Spell it in binary if you want. Sorted.

Edit: that won't work at all. I'm an idiot.
I particularly dislike this re: Mozart. I never have a clue if somebody mentions K222 or K477 or K606 ...
For Mozart in particular, I find the catalogue numbers easier to remember than the identifiers for some reason.

I can remember K503, but without that I'd be stuck saying "You know, the piano concerto in C major. No, not that one, the other one."
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