A Lover's Concerto, chorus, Christian Petzold, Dave Thompson, Denny Randell, girl group, hook, Jamaica, melody, meter, minuet, Minuet in G Major, Mr. Holland's Opus, music appreciation, Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach, popular music, Sandy Linzer, talent show, The Toys, verse
How gentle is the rain
That falls softly on the meadow?
Birds, high up in the trees
Serenade the flowers with their melodies.
Oh, see beyond the hill?
The bright colors of the rainbow,
Some magic from above,
Made this day for us just to fall in love.
The Toys, a female trio from Jamaica, NY, met in high school and got their big break when they were discovered at a talent show. Paired up with the songwriting team of Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell, their number two hit single from 1965, A Lover’s Concerto, was based on the Minuet in G Major (BWV Anh. 114) from the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach that is now attributed to Christian Petzold.
Originally written in 3/4 time, the melody of the minuet was reworked to be in a more pop-typical duple meter. Critic Dave Thompson wrote, “Few records are this perfect. Riding across one of the most deceptively hook-laden melodies ever conceived, A Lover’s Concerto marks the apogee of the Girl Group sound.” With an unusual structure that blurred distinctions between its verses and choruses, A Lover’s Concerto was featured in the 1995 film Mr. Holland’s Opus when, in a lesson, the title character compared it with the original minuet in an effort to bolster his students’ appreciation of classical music.