There is a concentrated hush fallen on Cambridge. The quiet of the spring-time meadows and college courts is broken only by the sounds of pages turning, pen scratchings, laptop-tappings, printer jams, and whispered curses emanating from libraries around the town. As many readers of MusiCB3 will be aware, it’s exam season here in Cambridge. There is, however, no need to panic – Revision Week at the Pendlebury Library begins on Monday! For this week only we are extending our opening hours at the Pendlebury, so that the library will be open from 9:30 am until 7:00 pm Monday to Friday. Come and study in the Reading Room, bind your coursework, or check books out until late in your favourite faculty library! To get in the spirit of the late opening hours, MusiCB3 has put together a few suggestions for night-time themed music to listen to. So whether you work better with music on, or just need a break from working, read on…
To get started, a ‘little night music’ from Mozart:
Now to Beethoven’s offering – the Moonlight Sonata. Although Beethoven himself never used this name, the sonata apparently acquired this nickname after the poet Ludwig Rellstab remarked that the first movement reminded him of the moonlight shining on Lake Lucerne (disclaimer: please don’t stay in the Pendlebury until the moon comes out – we will be shut ;)).
In a similar vein, Dvorak’s Song to the Moon, from Rusalka – you can find the whole opera at DVD. C.50
In the hope that the weather stays summery next week, here is A Midsummer Night’s Dream:
As well as Mendelssohn’s incidental music, there are several other incarnations of Midsummer Night’s Dream that you can find at the Pendlebury, such as Purcell’s Fairy Queen, a ballet using Mendelssohn’s music, and Britten’s opera. For something perhaps less well-known, but equally summery, try Prokofiev’s Summer Night, at CD.M.416. This is a suite of music drawn from Betrothal in a Monastery. While we’re talking about summer nights, I can’t really leave out Grease! And before we leave musical theatre, don’t forget the Music of the Night from the Phantom of the Opera.
In an abrupt leap back to the 19th century, have a Chopin nocturne:
There are many more nocturnes to find in the library’s CD collection, which should keep you going all night if need be. As well as Chopin, look out for Satie (CD.Q.218), Alwyn (CD.K.239), Fauré (CD.Q.45) to name just a few.
Finally, and breaking with the theme slightly, a good old working song to keep you digging away at your revision.
If it’s still too soon to go back to studying, then feel free to leave us your night-time music suggestions in the comments below…
Don’t forget to look out for the much-anticipated revision chocolates at the issue desk, and happy revising!