Monday, January 12, 2009

Classical Music on Madison Avenue

During the Christmas advertising period, one car ad was set to a, well, bizarre version of an advertising favorite, "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. It's really a simple piece, with a simple 2/4 rhythm. The beginning (the usual part used in ads) has pizzicato strings, a celesta and a bass clarinet. So, what did the ad agency do? They had it scored for rock in 4/4 time with an even simpler arrangement. In other words, they trashed it. Were they thinking that the original was too simple for its listeners? How low can they go?

On to this month. I enjoyed Subway's 30 second rendition of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, with buttons exploding in sync with the cannon. I know, I'd rather hear the full piece, but with 30 seconds available, I thought Subway did a good job. I also saw a candy ad featuring "Jupiter" from Gustav Holst's "The Planets". I thought the choice was odd, but, still, the music was great.

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