George Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue (1959)
To test dynamic range The ability to shift from ‘very quiet’ to ‘very loud indeed’, whether it's a voice, a single instrument or a large-scale symphony orchestra in full attack mode, is an essential loudspeaker talent. Few pieces of music demonstrate the dynamic potency of an orchestra like Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Inside the first two minutes it switches from plaintive piano to strings/brass/percussion overload and back again several times – and, every time, your speakers must make the switch instantly and without displaying any undue stress. Which is not as easy as you might think.