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Quiz about Classics for Easter
Quiz about Classics for Easter

Classics for Easter Trivia Quiz


A quiz about the repertoire of great classical music (not all of it religious) for the Easter season. Good Luck & Happy Easter!

A multiple-choice quiz by jouen58. Estimated time: 7 mins.
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Author
jouen58
Time
7 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
168,859
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Difficult
Avg Score
5 / 10
Plays
760
Last 3 plays: Guest 69 (4/10), TheNVG (3/10), Guest 98 (4/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. In Catholic tradition, there are four seasonal antiphons to the Virgin Mary each of which are sung or recited at a different time of the Church year (i.e. Advent, Lent, Easter, and Ordinary Time). The antiphon for Easter calls for Mary to rejoice at the resurrection of her Son; each line ends with an 'Alleluia'. The title (and first two words) of the antiphon, in English, means, simply, "Queen of Heaven". It has been set to music by many great composers, including Palestrina, Lotti, Mozart, Brahms, and Gounod. Which is it? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. The titles of the four Bach cantatas listed below are all somewhat grim; however one of them is an Easter cantata. Which one is it? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Bach's "Easter Oratorio" was originally a birthday cantata.


Question 4 of 10
4. Which of the three sections of Handel's famous "Messiah" deals with the Passion, death, and resurrection of Christ? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. At the end of his series of lieder entitled "Scenes from Goethe's 'Faust'", which includes the famous "Gretchen am Spinrade" ("Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel"), this German composer wrote a "Chor der Engel" for a capella chorus, whose text proclaims the Resurrection ("Christ ist Enstanden"; "Christ is Risen")). Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. This French composer, best known for his "Symphonie Fantastique", wrote a number of sacred pieces including a lavishly scored "Requiem" and "Te Deum" and a Christmas oratorio entitled "L'Enfance du Christ". His first-performed composition, a "Messe Solennelle" (Solemn Mass) was believed for years to have been destroyed, but has recently been discovered and performed. Of particular interest in this work is the "Resurrexit" from the "Credo", which the composer used in three of his other works. Who is the composer? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Which of these celebrated 19th century Russian composers wrote the "Russian Easter Overture"? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. This well-known Italian opera of the Verismo period is in one act and is nearly always paired with Leoncavallo's "I Pagliacci" as a double-bill. It takes place on Easter Sunday in Sicily, and the tragic and violent events of the plot are played out against the backdrop of the religious and secular celebration of the holy day. Two moments of respite from the raging passions of the story are an Easter Hymn, sung by the soprano and chorus, and a beautiful and very famous Intermezzo. What is the name of the opera? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Best known for his operettas, this American composer wrote a substantial body of orchestral music, some choral music, and some concert arias. Among these are the song "An Easter Dawn" and the choral piece "Christ is Risen". Who is he? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. The first of this eminent English composer's "Five Mystical Songs" (1911) is entitled "Easter: 'Rise heart; thy Lord is risen'". Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Mar 28 2024 : Guest 69: 4/10
Mar 26 2024 : TheNVG: 3/10
Mar 24 2024 : Guest 98: 4/10
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Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. In Catholic tradition, there are four seasonal antiphons to the Virgin Mary each of which are sung or recited at a different time of the Church year (i.e. Advent, Lent, Easter, and Ordinary Time). The antiphon for Easter calls for Mary to rejoice at the resurrection of her Son; each line ends with an 'Alleluia'. The title (and first two words) of the antiphon, in English, means, simply, "Queen of Heaven". It has been set to music by many great composers, including Palestrina, Lotti, Mozart, Brahms, and Gounod. Which is it?

Answer: Regina Caeli

The "Regina Caeli" is the shortest of the Marian antiphons; the text, translated into English, is: "Queen of Heaven, rejoice (alleluia!), for he whom thou wast worthy to bear (alleluia!) has risen as he said (alleluia!). Pray for us to God (alleluia!).
Mozart seems to have been particularly fond of this text; he composed three setting of it, including one version (K. 108) that is practically a mini-cantata. Palestrina wrote a motet setting based on the Gregorian melody, as well as a mass based on the motet.
2. The titles of the four Bach cantatas listed below are all somewhat grim; however one of them is an Easter cantata. Which one is it?

Answer: Christ Lag in Todesbanden (Christ Lay in the Bonds of Death)

The cantata #4 for Easter Sunday, "Christ Lag in Todesbanden", is based on the traditional Lutheran chorale of the same name. This chorale is notable in that the text and melody are derived from the sequence for the Catholic Easter Sunday liturgy, "Victimae Paschali Laudes" ("Praise Ye the Paschal Victim"). Rather than exulting in the joy of Easter, this cantata vividly describes the combat between Death and Life (memorably embodied in the great chorus "Es War ein Wunderlicher Krieg") and of Christ's victory over the dominion of Death.
3. Bach's "Easter Oratorio" was originally a birthday cantata.

Answer: True

The "Easter Oratorio" ("Kommt, Eilet und Laufet") went through several incarnations before arriving at its present state. It began as a secular birthday cantata (BWV 249a: "Entfliehet, Verschwindet")for Duke Christian of Saxe-Weisenfels. Since this was very much a "piece d'occasion', Bach reworked it in 1725 as an Easter cantata.

He revamped it once again as a birthday cantata (BWV 249b: "Verjaget, Zerstreuet") for Count Joachim Friedrich von Flemming; it arrived at its present state in around 1730.

The oratorio contains two of Bach's most beautiful arias, the tenor's (Peter's) "Sanfte Soll Mein Todeskummer" ("Softly Now, My Fear of Death") and the alto's (Mary Magdalene's) "Saget, Mir Geschwinde" ("Tell me, Where is He").
4. Which of the three sections of Handel's famous "Messiah" deals with the Passion, death, and resurrection of Christ?

Answer: Part II

Part 2 opens with the sombre chorus "Behold the Lamb of God", and contains the great set of three choruses: "Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs", "And With His Stripes", and "All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray", as well as the great alto aria "He Was Despised", and the poignant tenor recitative "Thy Rebuke Hath Broken His Heart".

The joy of the Resurrection and Ascension is expressed in the tenor aria "But Thou Didst Not Leave His Soul in Hell", the jubilant chorus "Let All the Angels of God", and the delightful "Lift Up Your Heads, O ye Gates". Part II goes on to relate the spread of the Gospel and the universal dominion of Christ.

The famous "Hallelujah" chorus, which closes Part II, has been used both as a Christmas and an Easter piece; actually it is neither, but celebrates the reign of Christ over all the earth, using a text from the "Book of Revelations".
5. At the end of his series of lieder entitled "Scenes from Goethe's 'Faust'", which includes the famous "Gretchen am Spinrade" ("Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel"), this German composer wrote a "Chor der Engel" for a capella chorus, whose text proclaims the Resurrection ("Christ ist Enstanden"; "Christ is Risen")).

Answer: Franz Schubert

This harmonically fascinating chorus (D440), with its chromatically ascending motion, proclaims the tragic Gretchen's ultimate salvation. Although strictly speaking it is not an Easter piece, it can be (and has been) performed apart from the "Scenes from Goethe's Faust". It is an overlooked gem of Schubert's choral repertoire.
6. This French composer, best known for his "Symphonie Fantastique", wrote a number of sacred pieces including a lavishly scored "Requiem" and "Te Deum" and a Christmas oratorio entitled "L'Enfance du Christ". His first-performed composition, a "Messe Solennelle" (Solemn Mass) was believed for years to have been destroyed, but has recently been discovered and performed. Of particular interest in this work is the "Resurrexit" from the "Credo", which the composer used in three of his other works. Who is the composer?

Answer: Hector Berlioz

Berlioz reworked the "Resurrexit" (the part of the Creed, or Credo, which describes the Resurrection) for parts of his "Te Deum", "Requiem" ("Gran Messe des Morts"; it was reworked for the "Dies Irae"), and the opera "Benvenuto Cellini" (the Carnival scene).
7. Which of these celebrated 19th century Russian composers wrote the "Russian Easter Overture"?

Answer: Nicolai Rimsky Korsakov

Rimsky-Korsakov's "Svetlyi Prazdnik" ("Russian Easter Overture", opus 36), along with the "Capriccio Espagnol" and "Scheherezade", is one of his best-loved and most popular orchestral works. Pre-eminent among his contemporaries for his brilliance in orchestration, Rimsky-Korsakov here combines the fervor of Russian Christianity (as embodied in traditional hymn and chant themes) with an unbridled and barbaric splendor recalling Russia's pagan antiquity.
8. This well-known Italian opera of the Verismo period is in one act and is nearly always paired with Leoncavallo's "I Pagliacci" as a double-bill. It takes place on Easter Sunday in Sicily, and the tragic and violent events of the plot are played out against the backdrop of the religious and secular celebration of the holy day. Two moments of respite from the raging passions of the story are an Easter Hymn, sung by the soprano and chorus, and a beautiful and very famous Intermezzo. What is the name of the opera?

Answer: Mascagni's "Cavellaria Rusticana"

"Cavelleria Rusticana" is the only work of Pietro Mascagni's to have achieved lasting popularity (though his comic opera "L'Amico Fritz", with its lovely "Cherry Duet" is occasionally revived). Written in 1889 to be entered into a contest, Mascagni was dissatisfied with the work and had thrown it away; his wife rescued it from the trash and sent it to the publishers.

It won first prize and was a resounding success at its premiere in Rome. Within two years, it achieved fame worldwide; sadly, Mascagni would never match its success.

He later said of "Cavelleria": "I was crowned before I became king." Based on Giovanni Verga's story of the same name, the opera focuses on the character of Santuzza (a lesser character in the story), a village girl who loves a former soldier named Turridu and has conceived his child out of wedlock. Turridu is still in love with Lola, his erstwhile betrothed who married another while he was away fighting in the army. Turridu turned to Santuzza for comfort, but soon began an adulterous affair with Lola.

The desperate Santuzza has been excommunicated for her sin and is consumed with rage against her rival. Unable to enter the church for the Easter mass, she leads the ensemble outside the church in the Easter Hymn ("Regina Caeli, Laetare; Ineggiamo al Signor"). The famous "Intermezzo", performed between the first and second scenes of the opera, is based on the melody of the "Regina Caeli". Evoking the peace of an Easter Sunday in the Sicilian countryside, it provides a welcome moment of respite before the opera's tragic and bloody conclusion.
9. Best known for his operettas, this American composer wrote a substantial body of orchestral music, some choral music, and some concert arias. Among these are the song "An Easter Dawn" and the choral piece "Christ is Risen". Who is he?

Answer: Victor Herbert

Herbert had an extensive classical background; he was an accomplished cellist and had played first chair at the Metropolitan Opera. His wife was a prominent operatic soprano who had performed in the American premiere of Verdi's "Aida". Of these two rarely performed pieces, "An Easter Dawn" dates from 1917 and uses a text by Glen MacDonough. "Christ is Arisen", with words by the composer himself, is of an unknown date.
10. The first of this eminent English composer's "Five Mystical Songs" (1911) is entitled "Easter: 'Rise heart; thy Lord is risen'".

Answer: Ralph Vaughan Williams

The "Five Mystical Songs" for baritone, chorus and orchestra, are settings of texts by the 17th century lyric poet George Herbert; the other pieces in the grouping are "I Got Me Flowers", "Love Bade Me Welcome", "The Call", and "Antiphon: Let All the World in Every Corner Ring".

The latter has also been memorably set to music by William Walton; the text is a standard hymn of the Anglican church. The rapt exaltation of "Easter" sets the tone of the work; particularly memorable are the lines: "Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part
With all thy art.
The cross taught all wood to resound his name
Who bore the same.His stretched sinews taught all strings, what key
Is best to celebrate this most high day."
Source: Author jouen58

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor minch before going online.
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