User:Reosarevok/Classical Edge Cases

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For meaningful discussion on how to get the best possible support for "classical" (or "art" or... you know what I mean) music, we need to think of the hardest / less obvious cases we can come up with. This is a place to list those - please add all you can!

J.S. Bach

Brandenburg Concertos

No 3, second movement
as written, consists of one measure. Performances sometimes are just that one measure, sometimes improvisation, sometimes inserting an entirely different work. Wendy Carlos composed three different extended versions (for Switched-On Bach, Switched-on Brandenburgs, and Switched-On Bach 2000).

Gustav Holst

The Planets Suite

A movement (“Pluto”) was composed much later by a different composer, but of course could be considered part of the suite. It also makes minor modifications to the end of the 7th part.


Piano Concerto no. 3: II. Tema con variazioni

This movement is made of variations. Most releases set the whole movement as a single track, while some use a separate track for each variation .


In C

Although often rendered as a single track, at least one release has the work split into tracks in increments of 10 minutes (I don't recall which one), and another, , features distinctly named remixes of a single recording as would normally be dealt with in popular music contexts.


Symphonies 1 and 4

Although officially Symphony No. 1 and Symphony No. 4, these are almost never referred to by these numbers, and are generally known as the Low and Heroes Symphony. To what extent should their relationship to the original David Bowie/Brian Eno tracks from Low and "Heroes" be acknowledged as inspiration? More generally, "Variations on a Theme by Haydn/of Paganini" exhibit similar issues of crediting thematic sources of another composition.



Satie has several works which are commonly grouped together, but released at drastically different times such that they might arguably form separate groups. Satie's Gnossiennes 1-3 and Gnossiennes 4-6 are a particularly good example. The first three were released in 1893, but the latter three were released after Satie's death, in 1968. Furthermore, The first act of Le Fils des étoiles - Trois Morceaux en forme de poire has a component entitled a "Gnossienne" which is sometimes labeled Satie's 7th Gnossienne despite belonging to a separate work.

Trois Morceaux en forme de poire

Trois Morceaux has several components in addition to the three "movements"/Morceaux. How should these be linked? Do the movements comprise their own section with each subsection being a movement?


1812 Overture

Specifically, this release: which features commentary on the 1812 overture (track 2) and Wellington's Victory (track 6). How should the commentary be handled?

Early Music (in general)

To what extent should early (pre-Baroque) music that doesn't follow traditional Classical music guidelines be covered by Classical guidelines? Many early music tracks may have similar needs to that of classical works (orchestra, director/conductor, etc.) but may have minimal additional information. A particularly interesting example would be ancient music such as Excerpts from Praetorius's Terpsichore may also be tricky for related reasons.

Other General Issues

How are excerpts that are generally performed independently (e.g. operatic overtures, Borodin's Polovtsian Dances) to be handled relative to the parent work? Overtures are easier, as they generally are a self-contained sub-work, but excerpts like the Polovtsian Dances offer more complex issues, as they are merely the last component of the second act (although at least for Borodin, they are generally separable as "No. 18" within Prince Igor, other excerpts may not be so easily extracted).

Is there a need to/should distinct versions of the same work be linked (e.g. the Nutcracker Ballet vs. the Nutcracker Suite; the various dated versions of The Firebird)

Some works may be divided within a single movement when tracked on CD (Beethoven's 9th often has its fourth movement broken up in this way such that the "Ode to Joy" chorus is its own track). This is similar in many ways to the Prokofiev example above. How should such divisions be handled? Similarly, operas are often tracked relative to key phrases rather than by scene/act. (It's possible that such splits may differ between releases, too!)

As far as I can tell from having looked through ISWCNet, ISWCs are often relative to the /compiler/ of a classical score rather than the composer. (For example, three distinct constructions of the same work may have three different ISWCs despite all being, say, Beethoven's Fifth)