The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: What piece of classical music best embodies Donald Trump? | August 27, 2016

By Jacob Stockinger

Today The Ear has a simple question:

What piece of classical music best embodies Donald Trump (below), the Republican nominee for president of the United States?

Donald Trump thumbs up

Maybe an aria — by either a villain or a hero — from an opera by Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini or Richard Wagner?

Maybe an instrumental piece?

Maybe a song?

Think about it.

Listen to some choices.

And let us know what you think with a COMMENT and a link to a YouTube performance.

The Ear wants to hear.

Tomorrow it is Hillary Clinton‘s turn.


  1. From the world of pop music: “You’re so vain (you prbably think this song is about you)” by Carly Simon; though Ann Boyer’s Shakespeare reference is what comes to mind first, though she left out the prior line “…a tale told by an idiot”, which is an essential part of it.

    Comment by Steve Rankin — August 28, 2016 @ 2:59 pm

  2. Try as I might for something appropriately describing Trump, all that comes to mind is the chorus of The Hippopotamus Song by Flanders & Swann:
    “Mud, mud, glorious mud!
    There’s nothing quite like it for cooling the blood!
    So follow me, follow down to the hollow,
    and together we’ll wallow in glorious mud!”
    flanders and swann the hippopotamus song

    Comment by slfiore — August 28, 2016 @ 9:00 am

  3. terrific question Jake! the answers are great fun

    Comment by Kathy — August 27, 2016 @ 4:21 pm

  4. Liszt Les Preludes.

    Comment by Musicophile — August 27, 2016 @ 2:53 pm

  5. Don Quixote.

    Comment by Wini — August 27, 2016 @ 1:21 pm

  6. When I think of Trump “Night On Bald Mountain” comes to mind

    Comment by Frank Stowers — August 27, 2016 @ 1:06 pm

  7. Maybe sections of “In the Hall of the Mountain King”?

    But a quote comes to mind :
    “Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”.

    Comment by Ann Boyer — August 27, 2016 @ 12:16 pm

  8. Bartok’s “Concerto for Orchestra” for the menacing, unbalanced buffoonery of the 2nd movement and the no-holds-barred brash bravado of the final movement. Listen to the classic 50s recording by Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

    Comment by Ginger — August 27, 2016 @ 11:24 am

  9. The first music that popped into my head was Baba Yaga from Pictures at an Exhibition.

    Comment by Kia Karlen — August 27, 2016 @ 10:39 am

  10. Symphony Fantastique by Berlioz, because I hate it. Especially when it is clear that Berlioz has been under influence.

    Comment by Lucia Alzaga — August 27, 2016 @ 9:38 am

  11. I think the best musical representation of the Donald would be Richard Strauss’ “Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks”. In it our hero is portrayed as perpetrating one outrageous prank, obnoxious behavior, and disgusting shout, one after another, until . . . the reckoning (the election) comes and wipes him out. But wait, a hint of him surviving after all, to renew his life of mischief.

    Comment by John W. Barker — August 27, 2016 @ 9:25 am

  12. Mars, Bringer of War.

    Comment by Steve Kurr — August 27, 2016 @ 8:58 am

  13. Carnival of the Animals? But he is not the swan!

    Comment by fflambeau — August 27, 2016 @ 7:44 am

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