One of Tchaikovsky’s greatest works for piano, his Concerto No 1 in B Flat Minor, Op23 was nearly ruined forever in the early 1980s by one of the UK’s most beloved orchestras.
Here is a recent performance by the world-famous virtuoso Lang Lang and the Orchestre De Paris.
In 1981, at the height of the disco era, Louis Clark, a musical arranger with the band Electric Light Orchestra, decided it would be fun to string together a run of well-known classical excerpts over a continuous disco beat. The result was this.
Fortunately, sufficient time has passed so that, when I hear the opening bars of the concerto, I think not of Hooked on Classics, but of the original work. But for many years, the only possible follow through after that initial phrase by the horn section was ‘oh dear, here comes the disco beat…’.
Listening to the Hooked on Classics single now, I have to say it has made me really smile. I bet the London Philharmonic players had an absolute blast recording it. If you want to do any more classical boogieing, there are plenty of other follow-up tracks on YouTube.
And when you need a lie down from all that exertion, how about this for a more mellow classical-modern conversation? The music being played here by Jacques Loussier was once used to help advertise cigars in the UK, but that is now long past, clearing the way to enjoy a great take on JS Bach’s fabulous Air on a G String. 🙂