1: ‘I’m quite enjoying these Sonatas, aren’t you?’ said Marmaduke

Bach’s works for solo cello are suites, not sonatas or partitas (unlike the 6 sonatas and partitas for solo violin)

2: ‘Actually, they’re Partitas,’ responded Balthazar. ‘And anyway, they were really written for the viola da gamba. They shouldn’t be played on the cello at all.’

The Bach suites were very much written for cello!

3: ‘Quite – well, I prefer Bach’s operas anyway,’ said Marmaduke.

Bach never wrote an opera

(BUT Alessandro Scarlatti DID almost certainly write three cello sonatas – short, but charming)

4: He was an exact contemporary of Bach’s – born in the same year, you know.’

Alessandro Scarlatti wasn’t born in the same year as Bach; that was his son, Domenico Scarlatti

5: ‘And Jimi Hendrix. No – Jimi Hendrix was born in the same place as Handel, not the same year.’

Jimi Hendrix was definitely not born in the same place as Handel! BUT he lived and died in the house next door to Handel’s house in London.

6: Didn’t I see you at the concert where the London Philharmonic played Chopin’s second Symphony the other day?’

Chopin didn’t write one symphony, let alone two. Everything he wrote has a piano in it.

7: ‘Yes – but I was there to hear Florent Schmitt’s first symphony.’

‘Oh dear – FAR too earnest for me. He was SUCH a typical German composer.’

Florent Schmitt was French, not German, despite the name.  (And another mistake here, but perhaps this one is too geekish to count: there’s no symphony no 1 as such by Schmitt – just  a Symphonie Concertante for piano and orchestra, and a symphony no 2.)

8: ‘You mean the Pathetique?’

‘Well, that’s what it means – Pathetic.’

‘Pathetique ‘ actually means ‘passionate’, rather than ‘pathetic’!

9: ‘Well, I certainly prefer Brahms’ 6th symphony.’

Brahms wrote only 4 symphonies – but his brother Fritz DID spend a year in Venezuela. (Again a bit geekish – though if you’ve read my book Why Beethoven Threw the Stew’…)

10: ‘Now don’t talk rot, my dear Balthasar. There’s never been any classical music in Venezuela – there still isn’t.’

Venezuela now has perhaps the most thriving classical music life in the world!

So there you are.

1-5 OK

6-8 Good!

9-10: Excellent!!

11-12: Get a life.   (Alright, I knew them all – but who says that a cellist has a life??)