Must watch: Pollini plays the Beatles

Must watch: Pollini plays the Beatles


norman lebrecht

November 24, 2016

Watch now, before somebody gets this taken down.

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


  • Robert King says:

    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.

  • Boom says:

    Fingers do not match the music. Looks like one of those YT music hoaxes.

  • John Borstlap says:

    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.

  • Amir Kessner says:

    Yes, definitely a hoax. I see someone noticed this before 🙂

  • Alexander says:

    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.

    • Steven Holloway says:

      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.

      • Alexander says:

        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.

        • Steven Holloway says:

          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. (–:

  • Theodore McGuiver says:

    Does anyone actually find these embarrassing montages funny?

  • Fred says:

    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

    • Steven Holloway says:

      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.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      I heard Glorieux’s Mozartian Ob-la-di Ob-la-da on the radio more than 30 years ago, and remember it.

  • Erwin says:

    I find this one much more amusing, and it’s cleverly done (though Gould groupies will feel insulted):

  • Johnny 60 says:

    Ragazzi, si tratta di un video goliardico senza particolari pretese se non quella di divertire facendo apparentemente eseguire a Pollini dei brani che lui non suonerebbe mai nemmeno sotto tortura, come Michelle, Popoff e una tarantella napoletana accompagnata dai “claps” del pubblico (!) … per non parlare dei cori finali del pubblico 😀 Inoltre c’è scritto persino tra le informazioni sul canale: tutti i video realizzati dall’autore sono dei “fake”! 🙂