Music (all key stages)

5th December 2003 at 00:00
Listen to music close to the limits of what we can hear or tolerate.

Smetana's First String Quartet contains a low tremolo, above which the violin plays a long shrill note, representing "the fateful ringing in my ears of the high-pitched tones which, in 1874, announced the beginning of my deafness".

Vaughan Williams's The Lark Ascending features violin passages that climb higher and higher. By contrast, there's a passage in the final adagio of Mahler's Ninth Symphony where the high strings engage with an almost subterranean contrabassoon.

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