Numbers have meaning. But meaning can depend on context. The Classics a Day team made “eleven” the theme for November, the eleventh month. The challenge is to post performances of classical music that involve the number.

I chose a mix. Some pieces involve eleven players. Some are the eleventh type of piece by a composer. Some are the eleventh published work. Some had the number eleven assigned to them in some way by a cataloger.

There are many ways to arrive at #ClassicalEleven – here are my choices for the fourth and final week.


11/25/19 David Conte – Sinfonietta for 11 instruments

This work is a transcription of Conte’s Sinfonietta. Conte created the chamber music version for a 2015 concert honoring his 60th birthday.

11/26/19 Louis Spohr – Violin Concerto No. 11 in G major, Op. 70

Spohr is credited with 18 violin concertos — three without opus numbers. No. 11 was composed and premiered in 1827.

11/27/19 Arnold Schoenberg – Drei Klavierstucke, Op. 11

These 1909 compositions are some of Schoenberg’s earliest experiments with atonality. Even so, there’s a lyrical element to these works his later strict dodecaphonic writing would deliberately avoid.

11/28/19 Heitor Villa-Lobos – Etude No. 11

This etude is of Villa-Lobos’ “Twelve Études for Guitar.” No. 11 is basically arpeggios, with challenging left-hand stretches.

11/29/19 Igor Stravinsky – Ragtime for Eleven Instruments

This 1918 work is part of a trilogy reflecting Stravinsky’s interest in jazz (A Soldier’s Tale and Piano-Rag-Music are the other two). Balanchine choreographed in the piece in the 1960s.