Epic ruination or guilty pleasure?

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. 🙂

 

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10 thoughts on “Epic ruination or guilty pleasure?

  1. I had completely forgotten about hooked on classics! I must have heard it loads at the time because I found I could anticipate what was coming next! Do you remember Stars on 45? There was a terrific Abba one, again I’d forgotten all about it but at the time it took ages for me to be able to listen to Abba without veering off into some other song every few lines! Great post Liz!

    1. Instant recollection – “The Stars on 45 keep on turning in your mind. Like ‘We Can Work It Out’. Remember ‘Twist And Shout’? You still know ‘Tell Me Why’ and ‘No Reply-y-y-y-y-y'”………. OMG Liz – you really know how to get the party started!! Love the ABBA one of course 🙂

  2. ELO, genius, I can imagine it being jarring at the time, but I quite like it these days, it’s a different take, although one to be played sparingly perhaps. Having said that, the more I listen the more I like it…what have you done to me? Lol.

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