THE BEST Classical

Flight of the Theremin

Flight of the Theremin

We know from our past encounters with musician Carolina Eyck that she’s one of the world’s greatest theremin players. In this clip, she amps up the pace to that of a buzzing insect with a captivating performance of Flight of the Bumblebee on the gesture-driven electronic instrument.

Mozart Fingerstyle

Mozart Fingerstyle

Musician Luca Stricagnoli proves once again that guitars know no genre bounds. Listen and watch as his fingers fly across the fretboard as he performs an acoustic cover of Mozart’s “Rondo Alla Turca” (Turkish March), a tune typically performed on a piano, harpsichord, or clavichord.

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Insanely Difficult William Tell Overture

Insanely Difficult William Tell Overture

Jacob Koller goes by the nickname “The Mad Arranger” because he loves to take relatively straightforward pieces of music and amp up the difficulty to 9000. Here, he takes Rossini’s familiar William Tell Overture and turns it into a supremely tricky jazz version. His arrangement of Mission Impossible is worth a listen too.

A Concert for 2,292 House Plants

A Concert for 2,292 House Plants

In a bold leaf of faith, Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house staged its first concert since the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown… to a full house of houseplants. The UceLi Quartet performed Giacomo Puccini’s “I Crisantemi” for 2,292 plants, one in every red velvet seat. Conceived by Spanish artist Eugenio Ampudia.

Gymnopédies: Animal Edition

Gymnopédies: Animal Edition

Musician Florent Ghys isn’t what you’d call your “average” classical musician. After all, he’s played music with a game of Pong and a weather forecast. So it’s not exactly surprising that he made a virtual choir out of cats, goats, and cows, then made them perform a rendition of Erik Satie’s Gymnopédies.

Flight of the Melodicabee

Flight of the Melodicabee

Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee is known for its rapidfire sequence of notes, composed to conjure the image of a buzzing insect. The Melodica Men are here to show us how well the buzzy sounds of their mouth pianos suit the song.

Boléro Home Orchestra

Boléro Home Orchestra

Facing confinement at home, musicians continue to look to streaming video as a way to get their music out to audiences. Like other orchestras around the world, the National Orchestra of France did their part with this energetic performance of Maurice Ravel’s Boléro. The music starts at 0:49.

The Cat Concerto Live

The Cat Concerto Live

Way back when, there was a Tom and Jerry cartoon that featured Tom cat attempting to to play a concert while Jerry mouse tried to nap inside of his piano. CANACANA pays tribute to Hanna Barbera’s melding of music and animation by performing Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 synced up perfectly with the cartoon.

Moonlight Sonata for Old Elephant

Moonlight Sonata for Old Elephant

Mongkol the elephant has had a rough life. His 61 years included a brutal captivity hauling trees in Thailand. But he’s since been rescued by Elephants World, and gets to live out his days enjoying visitors like musician Paul Barton, who performed this heartfelt concert for an audience of one.

Music Coaster

Music Coaster

Doodle Chaos has an obsession with making visuals that time perfectly with music. In this clip, he built a virtual roller coaster that syncs up beautifully with the finale of Tchaikovsky’s epic 1812 Overture, complete with cannon blasts. Want to build your own coasters? Check out the software he used – Planet Coaster.

James Bond Medley

James Bond Medley

Pierre Fontenelle and Cristian Perciun of accordion/cello duo Made in Belgium turn in an energetic and powerful medley comprised of three tracks from the James Bond universe – John Barry’s original theme, Adele’s Skyfall, and Sam Smith’s Writing’s on the Wall.

Rock Me Debussy

Rock Me Debussy

Archaelogist dusted off Claude Debussy’s famed classical piece Arabesque No. 1 and reworked it as a masterpiece of prog rock, giving it a powerful edge we’re certain the composer could have never envisioned back in the late 19th century when he wrote it.

Kian Soltani: Tiny Desk Concert

Kian Soltani: Tiny Desk Concert

Listen up as NPR’s offices are filled with rich and vibrant sounds made by musician Kian Soltani and his rare Giovanni Grancino cello, made way back in 1680. The tracks are Hungarian Rhapsody by Popper, Nacht und Träume by Schubert (arr. Soltani), and Persian Fire Dance, by Soltani himself. That’s Christopher Schmitt on piano.

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Classical Music Mashup III

Classical Music Mashup III

Musician Grant Woolard follows up his previous two classical music clips with a new medley of 70 tunes performed on piano, as more heads of composers bounce their way across the musical staff. Many of the greats are represented, from Beethoven, to Bach, to Strauss, to Mozart, to Chopin, and more. Rick Roll at 0:39.

Brooklyn Duo: Yellow

Brooklyn Duo: Yellow

Look at the stars. Look how they shine for you. Musicians Marnie and Patrick Laird aka the Brooklyn Duo are back with another heartfelt performance, this time bringing their piano and cello talents to the Coldplay track Yellow. Even if the original didn’t give you the feels, this version surely will.

Recorder Level 9000

Recorder Level 9000

Watch and listen in awe as musician Maurice Steger uses every last little bit of breath in his lungs to crank through Antonio Vivaldi’s extensive and at times frenetic Recorder Concerto RV 443 during a performance with the Cappella Gabetta at the Hochrhein Musikfestival.

Europe vs Dvorak

Europe vs Dvorak

Enjoy two strange musical bedfellows, Europe’s 1986 hit The Final Countdown and Dvorak’s 9th Symphony, melded by the Papageorgio String Quartet a. Be sure to listen to their Beethoven vs Metallica and Led Zeppelin vs Bach and My Chemical Romance vs Pachelbel too.

William Tell Melodica Overture

William Tell Melodica Overture

A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty “Hi Yo Silver!” – the Melodica Men are here to save the day from bandits and other Wild West baddies with their frenetic rendition of Rossini’s 1829 overture, most frequently associated with The Lone Ranger.

100 Familiar Songs

100 Familiar Songs

There are lots of instrumental pieces we’ve heard over the years, but don’t know the names of them. Pianist Vinheteiro decided to play a whole bunch of these pieces to help us connect these melodies with their names and composers. See how many you know.

Classical Music “A” to “Z”

Classical Music “A” to “Z”

His piercing glance burning a hole through the lens, pianist Vinheteiro performs a brief snippet from 26 different classical pieces of music, each starting with a different letter of the alphabet. We never knew what Gymnopedie No. 1 was called, but we recognized it immediately.

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Songs You Don’t Know the Names of

Songs You Don’t Know the Names of

You’ve probably heard most of these pieces of classical music at some point in your life, but had no idea what they were called. Pianist Vinheteiro takes this opportunity to educate us, while at the same time showing off his impressive ivory tickling skills.

Brooklyn Duo: Take on Me

Brooklyn Duo: Take on Me

A wonderful classical arrangement of the 1985 a-ha pop classic Take on Me, as performed by the musicians of Brooklyn Duo and Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect. We especially love the way they worked in the nod to Flight of the Bumblebee on the grand piano.

William Tell Bottle Train

William Tell Bottle Train

Most of us know it better as the opening theme from The Lone Ranger, but whatever you know the finale of Rossini’s energetic William Tell Overture as, you’ve probably never heard it played using a model train and a bunch of bottles. Hi-ho Silver, Away!

Für Elise: Dubstep Edition

Für Elise: Dubstep Edition

Electronic musician Kaskobi brings classical music into the 21st century with a seriously danceworthy arrangement of Beethoven’s 19th century classic, in a battle between his Novation Launchpad and Launchkey digital music controllers.

Electric Moonlight Sonata

Electric Moonlight Sonata

The consistently captivating Tina S shreds an insane rock rendition of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata (3rd Moverment) on her Vigier electric, her fingers flying across the strings and frets at supersonic speeds. Arrangement by Dr. Viossy.

Flight of the Tuba Bee

Flight of the Tuba Bee

Members of the Canadian Brass let their fingers go flying at breakneck speeds in this classic footage from one of their performances of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s high-speed orchestral interlude. A more recent incarnation of the group shows off their chops here.

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