Classical Music Stories

Classical Music Stories: A Study In Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes)


“Classical Music Stories” is a series where classical music is listened to as though it were a movie score to one of your favorite books.  

Alfred Schnittke’s Piano Quartet

Jefferson Hope comes back to the camp after hunting only to realize that everyone is gone and some terrible tragedy has occurred. He sees the scuffle marks and can imagine Lucy pleading with her attackers.

And so, with the darker, softer, and slower music, he lies in wait to avenge her, even for years.

When the solo instruments play, his thoughts are more coherent, focusing on the past and on Lucy.

As the piano plays more or less by itself with ambulance-siren strings, he is murdering Drebber. After swallowing the pills, they are waiting to see who got the poison.

Near the end, though, the music sounds much more normal in a sort of lament between the violin and piano. Jefferson is nearing the end of his life, and it’s like he sees her weeping for his earthly struggles, holding out her hand to be reunited with him at last.


Side note: Schnittke is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE composers.  Very dark, but very cool.  Do you like the music? Do you like the story? Please let me know in the comments below!

If you liked this, you might also like Classical Music Stories: FrankensteinClassical Music Stories: Wuthering Heights, and How to Actually Enjoy Classical Music (For Book Lovers).

8 thoughts on “Classical Music Stories: A Study In Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes)”

  1. To me, Sherlock Holmes is the Britten cello sonata, with Holmes being the sometimes stately, sometimes silly (in the pizzicato), yet always intellectual cello and Watson being the piano counterpoint!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that!! It’s interesting to compare Watson to the piano part because like the piano part, he really does add to how we perceive Sherlock’s character (or cello part) and even potentially instigates his actions! I love these music and literary comparisons because they can really get at the core of characters and their interactions with one another.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s