Must watch: Pollini plays the Beatles

Watch now, before somebody gets this taken down.

Karl Böhm, it is said, was a secret fan of George Harrison.

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  • For an official but utterly brilliant Beatles concerto (the first recording was produced by George Martin), you have to hear John Rutter’s fabulous Beatles double piano concerto of 1977, written for Peter Rostal and Paul Schaefer and subsequently performed with the London Symphony, Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic and more orchestras besides.

    You can hear the first movement on YouTube at – John demonstrates once again that he is one of the finest orchestrators of our age: his tongue-in-cheek yet brilliantly crafted scoring, seamlessly crossing between Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Hollywood films and much more, also giving the two pianists bucketloads of notes to play, will bring a smile to even the greyest of days.

  • Mozart was much ahead of his time.

    Sometimes Böhm was spotted sneaking-into a London concert with the Beatles, disguised with wig, moustache and dark glasses.

  • Well, it certainly makes more sense when one has followed the link to the original YouTube page, identified that this is based on a song called ‘Michelle’ by Paul McCartney (and to some extent John Lennon), listened to a recording of that song, and then listened to the piano and orchestra piece again and recognised the similarities.

    • Your comment rather suggests that Pollini and the orchestra are actually playing what you are hearing. Far from it, and it’s a strange thing to post on YT, for Pollini’s fingers and the violin bows are barely synchronised with the music you hear — quite simply an arrangement of Michelle replacing whatever the musicians were actually playing.

      • Certainly not, and my apologies if that is what I seemed to suggest. I had already read in a comment above that it is a hoax. I was just pointing out that it only begins to make sense if one actually knows what the song is. Those of us whose knowledge of The Beatles’ output extends only to Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields will have been left a little puzzled.

        • Very understandable, Alexander. I recognized Michelle, but I don’t even know Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields myself. I think the ones we may know are those that come at us from TV, Radio, etc., whether it’s what we want to hear or not. (–:

  • 1. Karl bohm, it was said was also “secretly’ a fan of Hitler’s
    2. All credits should go to Belgian pianist François Glorieux who played the Beatles a la Beethoven, Chopin etc as an improvisor.
    They all took his idea

    • Hardly secretly! He pretty well ordered the Vienna Philharmonic members to sign a document hailing the Austrian Anschluss and happily gave the ‘Sieg Heil’ salute. The mystery is how he pretty well got off scot-free after the end of the War, at the same time that Furtwangler was being pilloried, though he had always refused to join the Nazi Party. There were patently obvious Nazi supporters among musicians, e.g., Elly Ney. But I’ve always suspected that Bohm and Schwarzkopf were very enthusiastic Nazis indeed. Karajan? Just an egomaniacal opportunist who always had a finger raised to the wind.

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