Adele uncovers Mozart in viral cello mash

Adele uncovers Mozart in viral cello mash


norman lebrecht

January 31, 2016

Sales blurb: Hello/Lacrimosa (or “Chello,” as it has affectionately been called in the studio) is a musical experiment bridging 18th century spiritualism and 21st century secularism. Imagine Mozart and Adele in the same room in an intense co-write session, quill and pen in hand, respectively. Picturing this hypothetical hangout helped to spark the creative combination of the two.

Don’t scoff. It’s had 1.5 million hits in three days and it not half bad.

adele mozart mix


  • V.Lind says:

    It very mysterious, indeed. Is the unknown bit of music something to do with Adele? Why are piano guys all cellists? If there was a piano there I missed it.

    It not half bad. It kinda dull, though.

  • Alvaro says:


    What is the throughput for classical music? Out of those 1.5 million, MAYBE 10 or 20 cared enough to actually search for the actual mozart piece. And when this one proved to be yet another boring violin thing they do not feel related to, they go back to listen to another track by 2Cellos or The Piano Guys (that play all cello).

    Keep that going for another 5 years and we have an entire generation who prefers to listen to this than the original at any rate, and orchestras/concert halls will have to adapt their offering to meet demand.

    Mozart is dead and wont ever compose another note. Everything he wrote has been recorded 10 million times, its not sustainable for the labels to keep producing the same crap over and over again. They needed to redefine the Genre.

    They have succeded ladies and gents: classica music is a violin doing covers of the latest song. That ensures turnover, novelty, and expectation.


  • christy says:

    Ah, should we expect more unkind responses/comments like from this Alvaro that give such a bad impression to potential new classical music fans?

    The Piano Guys are both classically-trained and anyone who has ever attended their sell-out concerts (many at arenas), are aware that they devote significant time exposing their often child-age and teen fans to pure classical music. They are true musicians – teachers – who love classical music and started this venture as a way to teach young people about this music.

    They recently collaborated with Placido Domingo and I would love to hear them work with singers like Renee Fleming and Joyce DiDonato.

    Their youtube pieces get millions of views routinely.

    Here is my favorite – it is extraordinary. As they write in this description: “It combined two of the things we are working to accomplish — inviting people to classical music and inspiring young musicians.”

    Beethoven’s 5 Secrets:

    • Alvaro says:

      (After being censored twice, hopefully this response stays in the system enough for you to read it)

      The fallacy of social media and the internet is that it makes numbers that sounded “fantastic” 2 or 3 generations ago absolutely banal in todays metrics.

      Adele’s video got one BILLION (with a B) views in a couple of days, what is a million views per video in todays age? Close to nothing, but just enough to maintain profitability for the label. What these clowns do is what Andre Rieu had done over 20 years: Do covers of whatever song is trendy now, to piggyback from its popularity.

      Second – Sugarcoating culture has never been proven to work, neither in music nor in any other art form. How about we do a Manga of Shakespeare’s works to entice Asian audience consumption? Maybe paint the Colloseum in Rome in Pink to attract more tourists and raise the price of visiting tickets. Lets ‘modernize’ ancient roman history and ‘bring younger audiences’, right? That’s as ridiculous a proposition as cellists calling themselves pianists and doing covers of pop songs to somehow “save classical music”. Their value proposition is based on maximizing profit given the instrument they play, that’s all, with the caveat that the moral hazard is the destruction of an artform. Now, if we destroy the colloseum, that’s tangible, so some people might protest. But Beethoven? Mozart? You can bastardize anything they ever wrote and who is to say that’s good or bad music? Music is intangible – who cares?


      Its been over 40 years of ‘pops’ and ‘crossover’ initiatives and what do you have to show for? Show me data. What’s the conversion ratio between people that start off listening to these clowns and end up buying subscription series in their local orchestra and listen to actual classical music? Do you have this?

      Someone surely must have it, if not all of these initiatives are the music equivalent of the Indian Rain Dance. A HOPE..

      Now, if you look at the news, even badly, if a big percentage of the people that ‘flood the arenas’ and the ‘millions’ that follow these clowns in youtube indeed transferred to consume the arts, then why is Fort Worth, Detroit, Minneapolis, Hawaii, Hartford, NY City Opera, Philadelphia, Chicago, the SWR, and other hundred or so orchestras failing/or have failed in the recent past?

      The argument that these initiatives somehow ‘help’ classical music is a myth at best. If not, show me data that proves otherwise.

      • christy says:

        You know what I know for an absolute fact? Pushing away groups that have a following and the potential to be good for classical music DEFINITELY doesn’t help. So, congratulations on being your own self-fulfilling prophecy.

        • Alvaro says:

          Let me paint a picture for you so you understand.

          You have Terminal Cancer. Now, you know you must do something to stay alive, and everybody you’ve ever met tells you that the best course of action is to take Herbs found in the Amazon rainforest . Nobody has studied them, nor there’s data to prove they are efficient, but since they are all-natural and the tribes have taken them for millennia against all kinds of maladies, they have the POTENTIAL of being helpful. Meanwhile, every day that passes your tumor grows and metastasizes even more.

          What you are telling me is that since there’s a chance that the Herbs are helpful against cancer, you’ll do that because that at least is ‘doing somehting’.

          I think you should go to the doctor, but that sounds crazy to all of your friends.

          Tell me, please, what’s going to happen.

          P.D. If this happened to a person, there would be a lawsuit. But we are talking about the death of an art form…an INTANGIBLE artform. There’s no body to bury, no lead/oil in the water, no CO2 in the Air, its as if it doesn’t exist, and has no value. So screw Beethoven, right?

          • christy says:

            Alright then. I’m very sorry things seem so awful to you.

          • Alvaro says:

            Just to confirm: there’s NO data that anybody has ever collected to measure the effectiveness of POPS initiatives in increasing the sustainability of the core classical music industry. Am I right?

            The difference between a musician that needs a job (in either administration or playing their instrument) vs someone that cares for the outcome is that the latter has no bias. If the entire classical music industry disappears tomorrow, I have nothing to lose, but if the institutions and musicians that are supposed to preserve and further the artform bastardize it, I can and have to call them out.

            Things seem good for anybody whose lifelihood depends on people consuming whatever it is that can be related to an institution they work at, or an instrument they play. From that perspective, a semi-naked violinist playing “wreckingball” while winging from the rooftop accompanied by a symphony orchestra for an audience of 10,000 or 100,000 is AWESOME news. More consumption, more money, better gig fees. For many people playing violin or piano or working in an orchestra is simply a Job: if people want crap – lets manufacture, distribute and sell crap in gargantuan quantities as much as we can. We get to keep our jobs, and everybody is happy.

            And then one wonders: who are the sellouts?

  • Michael says:

    Wow, Alvaro being a bit drastic aren’t we? Comparing Piano Guys to cancer? Nothing wrong with preserving Classical music in its original form, that is my job as morning host on radio, but there is always room to stretch the boundaries and invite new listeners. Not everyone was privileged growing up to hear Bach, Handel, Beethoven etc… and comes to the music later in life via these artists. It is a doorway that hopefully leads to them to discover composers of the past, and even modern composers. Try to be a bit kinder and gentler in your daily life and comments and you may be a bit happier.
    All the best to you, with peace.