Mash-up piano composition brings classical music to a new level

Mash-up piano composition brings classical music to a new level
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-- Picture:YouTube

Every little while, something interesting appears on the Internet that captures our imagination. Each time, from the deepest recesses of Planet Earth emerges a creative genius who grabs hold of famous musical compositions from days past and gives them a new twist. While the compositions largely remain intact, these artists are able to infuse them with varied accompaniments such as computer-generated graphics and hand-drawn pictures. The end-results are captivating visuals that perfectly compliment the original compositions and have viewers glued to their seats.

London-based Sinfini Music skillfully rendered Bach’s famous The Well-Tempered Clavier into a visually-entertaining animation based in a virtual world that redefined the way we look at music. Italian musician and artist Alice Ninni converted Lacrime di Giulietta by composer Matteo Negrin into a beautiful, four-minute clip that also contained a social message. These stunning, modern renditions did not fail to impress piano music lovers. If anything, they even managed to attract new converts who are drawn into the world of piano and music.

This time, a Japan-based American, Grant Woolard, put together extracts of 57 famous compositions from 33 great composers into a continuous piece, complete with an accompanying video, to rave reviews.

It was not his first attempt in producing such mash-ups, having previously produced similar compositions with things as disparate as Beatles songs, television commercial jingles and even national anthems of European and Asian countries.

In his latest venture, Grant worked with famous pieces from composers like Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Chopin, Vivaldi and Pachelbel. The final product is a mind-blowing six-minute video, known simply as Classical Music Mashup. When played, viewers see notes, denoted by portraits of the associated composers, manifesting themselves on music scores at the exact times when the audio notes appear.

What is more interesting, however, is the clever integration of the 57 distinct compositions, listed below. With a keen eye for musical details and a talent for blending seemingly separate pieces, this talented artist has produced a video clip of the famous works, all seamlessly merged into one single, flowing piece.

This visual treat is all the more impressive when one learns that it was produced by a one-man team. Grant works alone and was solely responsible for the choreography, filming and editing involved in this latest mash-up video. For someone who confessed that he improved his piano skills vastly through self-recording after he stopped taking formal lessons, this was a great accomplishment, especially when it garnered 450,000 views on YouTube in the first three days.

Music lovers certainly have much to look forward to, in this era of technological innovations and the convergence of audio and visual. Most importantly, creative talent is in abundance amongst us. It may lie dormant most of the time but when it does emerge, it does magical wonders and helps bring classical music to yet another level of enjoyment.

1. Mozart Eine Kleine Nachtmusik K525 0:01
2. Haydn Symphony 94 "Surprise" II 0:01
3. Beethoven Symphony 9 IV (Ode to Joy) 0:06
4. Mendelssohn Wedding March in Midsummer Night's Dream, second theme 0:06
5. Dvorak Humoresque No.7 0:13
6. Wagner Lohengerin, Bridal Chorus 0:13
7. Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto 1 0:19
8. Saint-Saens Carnival of Animals: Swan 0:19
9. Bach Well Tempered Clavier Book 1 Prelude 1 0:19
10. Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture 0:29
11. Bach Cello Suite No. 1 0:32
12. Mendelssohn Song without Words "Spring" 0:33
13. Schubert Ave Maria 0:40
14. Schubert Symphony 8 "Unfinished" 0:46
15. Verdi "La Donna è Mobile" in Rigoletto 0:51
16. Boccherini String Quartet in E, Op.11 No.5, III. Minuetto 0:55
17. Beethoven für Elise 1:03
18. CPE Bach Solfeggietto 1:04
19. Paganini Capriccio 24 1:11
20. Mozart Piano Sonata No.11 III (Turkish March) 1:15
21. Grieg Piano Concerto 1:22
22. Mozart Requiem Lacrimosa 1:26
23. Schubert Serenade 1:30
24. Chopin Prelude in C minor 1:35
25. Strauss II Overture from Die Fledermaus (Bat) 1:46
26. Brahms 5 Lieder Op.49, IV. Wiegenlied (Lullaby) 1:46
27. Satie Gymnopedie 1:56
28. Debussy Arabesque 2:00
29. Holst Planets, Jupiter 2:05
30. Schubert Trout 2:14
31. Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 2:28
32. Mozart Variation on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star 2:41
33. Schumann Op.68, No.10 Merry Peasant 2:47
34. Schubert Military March in D 2:54
35. Bach* (could be Petzold) Minuet in G 3:00
36. Mozart Piano Sonata No.16 in C, K545 3:07
37. Offenbach Can-can in "Orpheus in the underworld" 3:08
38. Beethoven Piano Sonata No.8 "Pathetique" II 3:18
39. Mozart Die Zauberflöte Overture 3:24
40. Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet Overture 3:31
18'. CPE Bach Solfeggietto 3:44
41. Beethoven Symphony 5 "Fate" 3:47
6'. Wagner Wedding March 3:52
42. Rachmaninoff Prelude Op.3 No.2 in C# minor 3:53
18'. CPE Bach Solfeggietto 3:56
43. Chopin Piano Sonata No. 2 III. Funeral March 4:11
44. Williams Imperial March in Star War 4:19
45. Tchaikovsky Marche Slave 4:25
46. Smetana Ma Vlast II. Moldau 4:38
47. Tchaikovsky Nutcracker - Flower Waltz (not the main theme!) 4:45
48. Borodin Polovtsian Dances 4:45
49. Strauss II Blue Danube 4:58
50. Vivaldi Four Seasons I. Spring 5:03
51. Handel Messiah, Hallelujah 5:03
52. Handel The Entrance of the Queen of Sheba 5:08
53. Elgar Pomp and Circumstance Marches No. 1 5:15
54. Pachelbel Canon in D 5:21
55. Mozart Symphony No. 35 in D major (Haffner) K. 385, IV. Finale, Presto 5:27
56. Chopin Etude Op.25 No.9 in G flat, "Butterfly" 5:34
57. Bach Gavotte from French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816 5:42