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Subject: Re: Hit Parade songs by opera singers
From: Philip Walsh <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Philip Walsh <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 19 Aug 2008 12:22:31 -0700
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In the same vein, there was a pop song in the 1960's -- later also done by Phil Collins -- called "Groovy Kind of Love".  The music came straight from a Clementi sonatina that many of us played as piano students.

Philip Walsh
Ottawa, Canada




----- Original Message ----
From: paolo (G. P. Padillo) <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 1:30:40 PM
Subject: Re: Hit Parade songs by opera singers

Well, bro - stupid me can't think of too much operatic-inspired pop fodder 
either!  Offhand I can only think of Malcolm McLaren hitting the charts with his 
album “Fans” which brought abbreviated versions of Carmen and Madama 
Butterfly mixed with Acid House dance music back in the 80’s.  

Oh, and longbefore I fell for "Gioconda" and even knew "Dance of the Hours" 
me and my brothers all cracked up over Allen Sherman’s "Hello Muddah, Hello 
Faddah."  

But, this got me to thinking about more classical/pop connections and there is 
very nearly a bottomless pit of hits inspired by the classics.

One of my earliest favorites was (and remains) “A Lover’s Concerto” which was 
a hit for both The Supremes (and earlier, I’ve learned,  The Toys) – and based 
on the Bach Minuet in G.  

Eric Carmen’s “All By Myself” is a reworking of the Rachmanninof 2nd Piano Cto. 
and scoring on that one he turned to the Rach again – this time the 2nd 
Symphony for “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again”

“All This Time” by Sting – is from the Bach Cello Suite No.1

Lady Linda by the Beach Boys and later, “Joy” (by Apollo 100 . . . anyone 
remember THEM?! 

More recently, hipster Alicia Keyes has reworked the Beethoven c# 
(“Moonlight”) Sonata into “Piano and I”

Then, what do can we say about all time favorite band:  Emerson, Lake &amp; 
Palmer?  These guys churned out hit-after-hit renditions of entire movements 
and works like the Tchaikovsky 6th, several Brandenburg Concerti, and scads 
of Prokofiev, Stravinsky.  They were probably the first popular band (and 
maybe still the only one) to use Janacek more than once!

ELP also gave us wonderful rocking versions (complete – and, in some 
instances, magnified) versions of Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man 
(exploring Copland’s score for about 10 minutes longer than the composer 
himself did), and his Rodeo.  

They arranged Bartok’s (fairly) little known “Allegro Barbaro” for a rock trio and 
who but these deranged rockers would so beautifully insert the Allemande from 
Bach’s French Suite in d, into the middle of an arrangement of the Janacek 
Sinfonietta?  These guys blew my young world wide open!  They explored 
works by Rodrigo, Ginastera's "Suite de Danzes Cirallas, arranged 
Tchaivkosky’s “Nutcrackera” into something not very sweet (but a helluva lot 
of fun), Elgar, Ginestera’s 2nd Piano Concerto; Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kije 
Suite.  Then there was Emerson playing the pedal points from the F major 
Toccata mixing it up with the WTC Book I Prelude in D.  It was CRAZY!!!

They’d call on Chopin (a lot), catch-up with Khatchaturian, revel in Ravel, ham 
it up with Holst, but nothing brought them more fame than their nearly hour 
long arrangement – a full on onslaught – of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an 
Exhibition.  The idea of a rock band including the sheer amount of classical 
pieces – both freely adapted, and/or played as straightforward as possible 
(within the rock genre) today is something almost unimaginable – and some 
might call that a GOOD thing.  As a kid studying many of these pieces it was 
revelatory – and some of what they introduced me to (e.g., the Janacek and 
Rodrigo) helped shape my love for all things eclectic and new!  I think I'll listen 
to some tonight!

p. 
http://sharkonarts.blogspot.com/

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