By Joe Sugarman
Dvořák, Symphony No. 9
Can a twerking Korean pop-dance group turn on young people to classical music? That’s the idea behind Belgium’s B-Classic Music Festival, which aims to “leverage the power of classical music to engage new audiences.” Its Classical Comeback competition asks video directors to submit classical music videos that “standout from the usual YouTube video streams.” With more than 1.5 million views since its April 15 release, this one certainly does. We only hope the next director’s contribution doesn’t feature a wrecking ball.
Salut Salon, Wettstreit zu viert
Using a dose of comedy, acrobatics—and a whole lot of talent—this German piano quartet performs a very entertaining mash-up of Vivaldi, Mozart, and Kurt Weill’s “Mack the Knife.” Definitely browse some additional work by these ladies — they’re no one-video wonders.
Boy Conductor, 1945
British Pathé produced newsreels and documentaries from 1910 to 1970 and now its entire 85,000-strong library of rare 20th-century videos is available to the public on its YouTube channel. It’s a remarkable collection of history—and classical music is well-represented throughout. One of our favorites is this one of 9-year-old Pierino Gamba conducting the Lamoureaux Orchestra in 1947. Gamba grew up to become musical director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Australia’s Adelaide Symphony. Stick around for the dramatic hair flip at the end. “Pierino, why the shorts?”
Serena Wang, Chopin’s “Fantasie impromptu C sharp minor”
Speaking of overachieving youngsters, check out this video by 9-year-old Serena Wang, who releases her first album, “Dances of the Dolls,” this month. This video likely won’t catch fire, like those of some other child prodigies, but what she lacks in novelty, she more than makes up for in talent.
Dave Mustaine with the San Diego Symphony, Vivaldi’s Summer
A couple weekends ago, the former Megadeath frontman joined the San Diego Symphony in a sold-out concert dubbed “Symphony Interrupted.” Mustaine performed Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” with the orchestra, as well as solos from Bach’s “Air” and Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” This performance of “Summer,” is generating comments not so much for the unusual collaboration, but for how bad it sounds. Oh, yeah, Mustaine is the one in front with the long hair.
Forest Xylophone Plays Bach
Here’s one from a few years ago that really should have garnered more than its 80,000+ views. We’ve never been more mesmerized by a couple of wooden balls—and an enormous xylophone built in a forest.