Monday, September 13, 2010

Music Monday ~ New Songs for Old ~ Old Songs for New

I have a mild obsession these days with musical combinations of classical and modern. Maybe something is in the air - the astrological atmosphere. Saturn currently transits in opposition to Uranus/Jupiter. That, being translated = the old & the new connected in teeter-totter fashion (Brit translation = see-saw fashion). This configuration could have a lot to do with my current interest, more especially because Saturn and Uranus are co-rulers of my natal Aquarius Sun. Am I following a "siren call" of the planets? (wink)

Monday postings have recently featured classical music of Carl Orff, Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Rodrigo used in modern settings. During the past week my attention has been drawn to a couple more examples - one of them in the opposite direction, so to speak : taking a modern composition and teeter-tottering it to sound classical.

A friend and relative, known here as commenter TNPOTUS (aka Jeff), sent me a link to the video below featuring Rick Wakeman (once upon a time on keyboards for the group Yes), and classical guitarist David Paton playing a classical-sounding version of the Beatles' Eleanor Rigby. Love it! It's refreshing to hear the pendulum swoosh t'other way from the usual "lift" of the classics for modern use. Not just anybody can achieve this level of perfection though - the modern piece has to have the right quality and potential, the arranger has to have special musical skills, comparable to Wakeman's - pretty rare these days I'd guess.

The other examples, this time old to new, are by the British group Muse, headed by Matthew Bellamy. In two tracks from their most recent album Resistance Bellamy has "lifted" part of Nocturne in E flat major, Op. 9, No. 2 by Frédéric Chopin for Collateral Damage (which slips smoothly in after The United States of Eurasia). On another track part of the music from an aria, “Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix”, from Samson and Delilah, written by Camille Saint-Saëns is used towards the end of I Belong To You.

I'll post the classical originals first, then the songs where Muse includes the music. In both cases the classic references come in the later part of the Muse videos.

I'm wondering whether anybody knows of other instances like the Rick Wakeman one, where modern becomes classical ?


Gian Paul said...

Not quite clear about your "wink" this time, Twilight. Are you "talking to yourself", i.e. that you should follow what the rulers of your sun-sign are now saying, or suggesting that who reads you should be attentive to that?

Or are you "winking" towards whom needs to learn reading the mysteries on the ecliptic? Moon in Virgo inquiring...

Twilight said...

Gian Paul ~~ I'm implying that I don't go along with the idea of planets issuing "siren calls" - that's the part of it the wink really relates to, GP... i.e. not to be taken literally. Had I been speaking the line I'd have laughed as I said it I guess.

In general, I'm not into slavishly following what the Moon and planets are up to. I prefer to "do what comes naturally" then, if it matches the planets - fine. If it doesn't - well I'm displaying Aquarian-type obtuseness.
;-) =another wink.

Gian Paul said...

Got you T, the written English has it's secrets which I am still finding out about, and when it's your's (English/English) even more so. Thanks for your help.

Wisewebwoman said...

Great choices, T. I'm with you, in particular I love the Beatles' music rendered a la Bach. I have it in my collection.
Bach+Beatles = transcendant.

Twilight said...

Gian Paul ~~~ You write English practically like a native, and any tiny quirks just give it flavour.
I wish I could write in a second language as brilliantly as you do. :-)

My English-English, the spelling differences (colour/color, theatre/theater...etc.etc.)I keep deliberately, most of the time just as I keep my Yorkshire accent and do not try to sound American. Just being obtuse again. :-)

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Ah, that rings a bell....Himself says he has the CD you mention, and reminds me that I've heard it, but must have forgotten. He has our "music room" in uproar at present re-arranging shelves, so I can't go get it and listen. But I will, later. Thanks for the reminder.

Beatles' music (well I think the music part is mainly McCartney) especially the later stuff, has such surprising "class" and quality, otherwise it wouldn't be possible to mess with it in this way. :-)