Friday, June 26, 2015

The Jackson 5 and Bach: "I Want You Back"

The 1st number one hit for The Jackson 5 – “I Want You Back” – was written in the remote 1969. It didn’t take long for the song to get into all possible charts, billboards and best-song-lists. The popular song with the lead vocal by the young-young Michael Jackson made it to the Hall of Fame and became of the 500 greatest songs of all time, according to the Rollin Stone. A generation’s hit it is.
The Jackson 5
And if you rewind the time many years back you’ll get a different type of ‘hits’. The classical, the powerful, the stunning Bach epoch! Brandenburg Concertos, Minuet in G, Gavotte – these pieces don’t need to be introduced to a classical music fan. What if the best of two era worked together? ThePianoGuys went up for this challenge and brought about a funny mix of the two epochs.

So here we are – an old hit, some very old hits and a modern hit-mix of these two – the music collision of 1770 and 1970:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Rare Attitude to Pachelbel's Canon in D

There is a number of classical music pieces that have been around for years.. no, for centuries! There are recognized by any musician at the first note and keep being performed at many occasions. The surprising thing is that despite the countless number of times we heard those amazing music gems, we still enjoy them every time the familiar melody sounds. The eternal classical ‘hits’ may I say always bring a special joy to the heart and lift the spirit. One can’t but be moved by the magic sounds of Moonlight Sonata, Fur Elise, Ave Maria, Clair de Lune and the list can go on and on. For every musician this list is special and may differ depending on the personal preferences. However, some of the pieces will be found on anyone’s music favs list!

Today I was amused by a video I came across – a funny ‘rant’ about a piece that’s been following a musician during all his life. Never looked at it from this perspective! The work is the well-known Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel. The one that’s on My personal list, to be honest. Well, I had a good laugh watching it!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Beethoven and Salsa

Some people are so devoted to certain music genres that they can’t stand when something is getting mixed up to that. And classical music fans might be the strictest in this regard! Well, I’m definitely not one of those and I do love mixing things that are at times not quite mix-able.

Here’s a loveliest combination of genres that I became very fond of! The classical, the great, the unrivaled Beethoven is united with the passionate, upbeat, rhythmic Latin music. To my mind, the music pattern that emerged as a result is more than successful. Both classical and Latin music are very ‘traditional’ and in a way – similar.  Thy common rhythm of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and Salsa elements leads to a perfect unison. And of course, salsa brings a very special lively flair to the classical power of Beethoven’s masterpiece.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hungarian Csárdás in Classical Music

Do you like folk music? I love it. Especially the cultural heritage of the Balkan Peninsula. Here the elements of dance and music often intertwined which resulted in a beautiful unity of folk art. The most popular example is the transition of Hungarian dance called Czárdás that later spread into classical music.
Czárdás dance 
Czárdás the traditional dance that was born in Hungary in the 18th century. Its name derives from the Hungarian word “csárda” meaning ‘tavern’. The dance caught on in the nearby countries of the peninsula and is still met in Serbia, Croatia, Romania and other countries of the region. The main feature of the dance was its characteristic tempo – slow beginning and very fast ending. Maybe that was what attracted classical composers. Among the remarkable authors who used czárdás motives and themes in their works are Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Brahms and, of course, Vittorio Monti. His czárdás composition for violin and piano is probably the most recognizable now.

Here is a wonderful video of my favorite Victor Borge and his stunning improvisation of Monti’s Czárdás in a duet with Anton Kontra as encore at the concert dedicated to Borge’s 80th anniversary. The funny thing is that he had never played it before. Well, the legendary Victor Borge, what can I say!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Lovely "Transformation of Pachelbel's Canon" for Marimba

I’m not sure about you but when I hear “canon” my first thought is to prolong it to Canon in D or to Pachabel’s Canon. But in both cases it would only refer to that very famous music piece by outstanding German composer Johann Pachelbel.

So many years passed, first before the composition got popular after its creation in 1919 (a few decades), and then after it was re-discovered in the 20th century. Despite that, it eventually became composer’s most well-known creation and many artists played, covered, arranged it then and now. Originally, “Canon and Gigue in D” was scored for three violins and a basso continuo. But who cares what the instrument is if the desire to play it is too high?

So I heard a number of bright performances of the piece, and every time there is something to be pleased with. Maybe it’s all about the magic magnetism of the piece itself? Anyway, here’s a curious transformation of the canon on Marimba! Why not :) It’s an interesting instrument by itself and even the most recognizable compositions sound different on it. Yea, maybe the guy’s (Nanae Mimura) performance is not all that smooth but he’s doing a great job!