Many thanks to those of you who took time to tackle our Christmas competition to win a copy of the complete Sibelius Edition, kindly donated by BIS. The questions were challenging, but a little online detective work seemed to work for most of you! 

Here are the answers and an explanation, for those of you still puzzled, of what the musical connection is between the first twelve answers. 


  1. Which work by Respighi borrows from Rameau and Pasquini, among others? A:  The Birds (Gli uccelli)

  2. Which work by Steve Reich has been choreographed by Laura Dean, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Ginette Laurin? A: Drumming

  3. Erik Satie wrote three ‘morceaux’ in which form? A: Morceaux en forme de poire (3 Pieces in the Form of a Pear)

  4. Who composed the ballets The Triumph of Neptune and Les Sirènes? A: Lord Berners

  5. Symphonically speaking, who might be peckish in hot pursuit of a bear? A: Haydn’s Symphony no. 83 ‘The Hen, which follows Symphony no. 82 ‘The Bear’

  6. Which piece by Sibelius started out life as the prelude to a projected opera The Building of the Boat? A: The Swan of Tuonela

  7. Which work by Elgar started out as an opera, but was turned into a suite for strings following his death? A: The Spanish Lady

  8. Which female might you find in Rued Langgaard’s Rose Garden? A: “The Milkmaid”, the second of his Rose Garden Songs*

  9. Which opera by Korngold was written to a libretto by Leo Feld? A: Der Ring des Polykrates (The Ring of Polykrates)

  10. Which opera by Nicolas Flagello might usefully be employed by pest control? A: The Pied Piper of Hamelin

  11. Beauty and the Beast, Tom Thumb and the Sleeping Beauty appear together in which French work? A: La mère l'Oye (Mother Goose)

  12. Which opera is based on the poem Le Faucon by Jean de la Fontaine? A: Gounod’s La Colombe (The Dove)

  13. What links all the above answers? A: They are all gifts in the song The 12 Days of Christmas: A partridge in a pear tree, two turtle doves, three French hens, four calling birds, five gold rings, six geese laying, seven swans swimming, eight maids milking, nine ladies dancing, ten lords leaping, eleven pipers piping, twelve drummers drumming. 

From those entries with all 13 answers correct, GT Stacey, from the UK, was drawn at random from to win the BIS Sibelius Edition. Congratulations! 

*It has been pointed out that Langgaard's Milkmaid was part of a different collection of three songs and not The Rose Garden, a mistake on the question. Lots of entrants still produced the answer 'Milkmaid'/'Dairymaid'.