The Greatest Gambling Works within Classical Music

Without question, we are all big gambling fans. However, in today’s blog post, we’re leaving the world of online slot machines for a few minutes and looking at classical music and its composers, all of which have to do with gambling. There are a few exciting works dedicated to our favorite hobby here, and some composers have also had their experiences with slots and the like in one way or another.

Classical Music Influenced by Gambling

Let’s take a look at four well-known works of classical music that clearly got their ideas from gambling. Some of them will surely sound familiar to you:

  • The opera “The Gambler” by Sergei Prokofiev – This opera has four acts of classical music for gamblers. The theme of the opera was set in 1914 and its story was written between November 1915 and April 1916. It finally began in 1929. The content is about the all-too-familiar winning and losing at games of chance, mixed with a story about great love.
  • The opera “Queen of Spades” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – This opera, with its three acts, belongs to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It was based on an opera text by his brother Modest Tchaikovsky. It was first performed as early as 1890. The main character sings in all seven scenes about the secret of winning every table game. This story is also about love and the recurring bad luck in gambling.
  • The ballet piece “The Card Game” by Stravinsky – The Russian ballet piece “The Card Game” is about the main cards of a poker game. Such as Jack, Queen and Ace. The scenes here have been renamed “Deals” and end when the “cheating” Joker is defeated by a “natural” Royal Flush. Stravinsky himself, however, was not a poker player, unlike other of his contemporaries we looked at in “The 7 Greatest Gamblers in the History Books.” 
  • “Casino Paradise” by William Bolcom – Finally, of course, Casino Paradise by William Bolcom is crucial here. It is a musical theater by Bolcom, which revolves around different types of gambling.

Classical Composers with a Heart for Gambling

Classical music is not really something you would expect to find in an online casino. However, there are numerous composers who were either gamblers themselves, or used gambling as a source of inspiration for their musical pieces: 

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – This late 18th century composer, who is still well-known today, has long been said to have a penchant for gambling. Although it has never been conclusively proven, rumors persist to this day that Mozart even had large gambling debts.
  • Gioachino Rossini – The Italian composer Rossini ran a casino in the opera house and also enriched himself at it. Gambling even took place there during opera performances! 
  • Niccolo Paganini – Paganini was famous mainly as a successful violinist. However, he was also one of the most famous composers of his time. Contemporaries reported that he once took his violin to a pawnshop to pay off gambling debts. Because of this, he had to play at least one concert on a borrowed violin.

Alternative Languages: English