The Guiness Book of Music Facts and Feats

An excerpt from the book The Guiness Book of Music Facts and Feats including the shortest opera and the most arrogant composer.

THE GUINNESS BOOK OF MUSIC FACTS AND FEATS by Robert and Celia Dearling with Brian Rust. Enfield, Middlesex, England: Guinness Superlatives, Ltd., 1976.

About the Book: Known for their records book, the Guinness people also put out numerous specialty books, published mainly in Great Britain, and this is a new addition. Almost anything you've ever wanted to know about music will be found in this beautifully illustrated volume. Standard reference facts are mixed in with titillating, little-known facts. If you wonder who composed the first violin concertos (Jacchini) or who wrote the most operas (antonio Draghi--about 175 of them), you'll find it all in this attractive book.

From the Book:

The world's shortest opera is Milhaud's The Deliverance of Theseus, first performed in 1928 and lasting a mere 7 min. 27 sec.

The most arrogant composer was Richard Wagner (1813-1883). Many stories circulate to illustrate his high-handed attitude with his associates; one which typifies his overt disdain of the Jewish race is the report of his habit of conducting the music of Mendelssohn only while wearing gloves. At the end of the performance he would remove the garments and throw them to the floor, to be removed by the cleaners. It was due to this anti-Semitic attitude that the "Third Reich" adopted the music of Wagner and the spirit of Wagnerism, at the same time banning the performance of Mendelssohn's, and all Jews', music.

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