Friday, January 28, 2011

1/28 Beethoven's Full Monty (Python)

Myna Bird
It's Friday, which means time for some light's a pretty humorous set of variations on "Happy Birthday" based on various themes by Beethoven, including Moonlight, Pathetique, etc...
Uploaded to Youtube by davidhertzberg:
In this Columbia Masterworks recording released in 1970, the American concert pianist and composer Leonid Hambro (1920 - 2006) performs his composition, "Happy Birthday Dear Ludwig," a set of piano variations in the style of Beethoven on the tune "Happy Birthday." Woven into the variations are Beethoven's Bagatelle, Op. 119, the Minuet in G, the Pathetique and Moonlight Sonatas, Fur Elise and the theme of the first movement of Symphony No. 5. I created this music video from the LP, "Happy Birthday Ludwig," serial number MS 7406, shown above. The video opens with images from the LP jacket.  This LP was issued to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Beethoven's birth (1770). It is a compilation of recordings of Beethoven's works, featuring artists such as Hambro, Rudolf Serkin, Glenn Gould, Philippe Entremont, Leonard Bernstein and Eugene Ormandy, issued previously on the Columbia label. So that there is no question in the mind of the listener, I rely principally on images of the LP and LP jacket in order to document the authenticity of historically important recordings such as these. All selections on this LP, with one exception (the first track on side 2) are in the public domain.

Dudley Moore did a similar thing with the theme from "Bridge over the River Kwai" -
Uploaded by jondinerstein:
In this clip from the 1950's-60s British comedy group "Beyond the Fringe," Dudley Moore plays a very funny but also very musically well-done parody of a Beethoven Piano Sonata, using the famous whistling tune from "Bridge Over the River Kwai" as a thematic subject.

Since this post is kind of in a "humor mode" I might as well add Monty Python's Beethoven sketch...
Transcript HERE.

Lately I've been coming across so many "longer features" that it's hard to just reserve them for the weekend posts, so maybe some will get out early...

Have you read that book "Beethoven's Hair" by Russell Martin? Personally I haven't, tho I hear it's pretty good. Here's a talk on C-Span about it from 2000. Let me know if it's any good...
Beethoven's Hair discussion

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