17 October 2011

The "Warsaw Concerto"

I heard this while driving today; it has a number of very familiar passages which I'm sure I"ve heard a dozen times, but couldn't remember where.  It sounds like it should be soundtrack from Brief Encounter, but a quick search reveals that it was composed by Richard Addinsell for the 1941 British movie, Dangerous Moonlight.
The film-makers wanted something in the style of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini or the Second and Third Piano Concertos, but were unable to persuade Rachmaninoff himself to write a new piece or to afford to obtain the rights for any of these existing pieces. The music was later used in another film, The Sea Wolves (1980)... 
I've not seen either of those movies.  I suspect my familiarity with it stems either from this: "The Concerto is frequently used in championship figure skating (especially in Japan)" or from its use as a filler for 10-minute spaces in classical music radio programming.

And now I can't resist reposting that parody of the closing scene of Brief Encounter.


  1. In The Sea Wolves it's used for brief romantic scenes.

    I was wondering if anyone agrees part of the music sounds like the song Stand By Your Man, I subconsciously sing the song when I hear those bars.

  2. I agree there is a sequence of four notes that seem match those of "Stand By Your Man." Hadn't thought of that before.

  3. Sorry, but I object to your description of this as "filler".

  4. What Spike Milligan called "The bloody awful Warsaw Concerto" - I think he'd heard it far too often during the war.

  5. I absolutely hear strains of "stand by your man"...glad to see I'm not the only one!

  6. That's how I found this website when I put into the search engine the question " Which came first The Warsaw Concerto or "Stand by your man"?


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