A Lover's Concerto
|"A Lover's Concerto"|
|Single by The Toys|
|from the album The Toys Sing "A Lover's Concerto" and "Attack!"|
August 1965 (US)|
October 1965 (UK)
|Songwriter(s)||Sandy Linzer, Denny Randell, Christian Petzold|
|Producer(s)||Linzer and Randell|
|The Toys singles chronology|
Their original version of the song was a major hit in the United States and United Kingdom (among other countries) during 1965. It peaked on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 2, and reached number 1 both on the US Cashbox chart (Billboard’s main competitor), and in Canada on the RPM national singles chart. It peaked at number 5 in the UK Singles Chart. "A Lover's Concerto" sold more than two million copies and was awarded gold record certification by the R.I.A.A..
Critic Dave Thompson wrote of the Toys' version, "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." The song also had an unusual structure that blurred the differences between its verses and choruses.
The lyrics begin with:
- How gentle is the rain
- That falls softly on the meadow,
- Birds high up in the trees
- Serenade the flowers with their melodies
Linzer and Randell based the melody on the familiar "Minuet in G major" (BWV Anh. 114) from J.S. Bach's Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach. One key difference is that the "Minuet in G major" is written in 3/4 time, whereas "A Lover's Concerto" is arranged in 4/4 time. Although often attributed to Bach himself, the "Minuet in G major" is now believed to have been written by Christian Petzold.
In subsequent years, "A Lover's Concerto" has been recorded by numerous other notable artists, including Cilla Black, Kelly Chen, the Delfonics, Doris, the Fleetwoods, Audrey Hall, Doyle Lawson, the Lennon Sisters, Mrs. Miller, the Peanuts, the Pearls, Perrey and Kingsley, the Supremes, Carla Thomas, Tight Fit, Leslie Uggams, and Sarah Vaughan. Karina rendered the song in Spanish as "Concierto para enamorados" in 1966: that same year Alma Cogan made a German translation "So Fängt Es Immer An". Also Kai Lind (fi) recorded the Finnish rendering named "Aamukonsertto". It was also covered in Japanese by the group SA under the title "Delight". The American singer Neil Sedaka recorded an Italian version, "Lettera bruciata".
"A Lover's Concerto" was used in the 1995 film Mr. Holland's Opus, in which the title character, attributing the Petzold minuet to Bach as was typical for the time in which that portion of the film was set, compares the two works in order to help his students gain an appreciation of Western classical music. The song is also featured, as a duet between a cello and a computer, in the 1984 film, Electric Dreams.
- "Toys, The - A Lovers Concerto (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
- Dave Thompson. "A Lover's Concerto - The Toys | Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 563. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 198. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
-  Archived December 30, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
- Wolff, Christoph. "Bach. III. 7. Johann Sebastian Bach. Works". In L. Root, Deane. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
- Williams, Peter F.. 2007. J.S. Bach: A Life in Music, p. 158. Cambridge University Press.
- Schulenberg, David. 2006. The Keyboard Music of J.S. Bach, p. 522 and elsewhere.