The Merry Wives of Windsor - Overture Carl Otto Nicolai Download 'The Merry Wives of Windsor - Overture' on iTunes
Sometimes, words just aren't enough. Here are the times composers used their music to honour friends, to woo the ladies and more.
Wagner woos his wife
Sometimes, you just can't get to the shops in time, can you? Notable grump and controversial composer Richard Wagner obviously thought a practical gift wasn't enough, and composed his Siegfried Idyll especially for her. Bonus points for arranging to have it performed at the bottom of the stairs in her house, too.
Rachmaninov honours Tchaikovsky
When he learned of the sad death of one of his mentors, Sergei Rachmaninov paid tribute to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in the only way he knew how - a gorgeous Trio Elégiaque for piano, violin and cello, which he composed as soon as he heard of Tchaikovsky's death.
Frederic Chopin was definitely a prolific composer, but he estimated that he lost dozens of compositions because of his distracting affair with Countess Delphina Potocka. Nevertheless, he dedicated his Piano Concerto No. 2 and his Minute Waltz to her as a sort of love letter.
Holst addresses the fallen
Rather than protesting the war itself, Gustav Holst instead composed this moving tribute to the fallen of the First World War, based on a poem by Walt Whitman.
Stravinsky remembers Debussy
The Russian modernist Igor Stravinsky was so moved by the death of French impressionist composer Claude Debussy that he composed a chorale at the end of his Symphonies of Wind Instruments in honour of his absent friend.
Rachmaninov (again) honours Scriabin
One great pianist recognises another - Rachmaninov immediately played a series of concerts when he heard of the death of his friend Alexander Scriabin, and played only his works. When, during encores, the audiences asked to hear Rachmaninov's work instead, he simply replied: 'Only Scriabin tonight.'