Classical Music Stories

Classical Music Stories: Mozart and Sydney Carton (A Tale of Two Cities)


Classical Music Stories is a series that connects music to your favorite books and characters. Since listening to classical music can be like hearing a story, imagining specific stories that match the music can make it that much more fun and accessible!

Spoilers ahead for Charles Dickens’ novel, A Tale of Two Cities!

(If you’d like, you can also check out the first movement of this symphony, which you’ll probably recognize, here: Classical Music Stories: A Tale of Two Cities and a Mozart Symphony)

Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor (K. 550)
2nd movement
Performed by The Chicago Symphony (conductor: James Levine)

Sydney Carton’s life flashes before his eyes in slow motion just before his death…

In his final moments his thoughts are peaceful and focused on Lucie. There are small moments of fear, but he always returns to his undying love and tenderness. He hopes that he will succeed in providing Lucie with a happy future through this, his final, selfless act. His resolve and steadfastness in the face of death in the story is richly brought to life by imagining this music to be telling his story.

What other music (of any genre!) have you heard that reminds you of Sydney Carton, or A Tale of Two Cities in general?

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