Some musical links and a humorous line may only work for people as ancient as me. ‘An intellectual is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger.’ It is widely credited to Billy Connolly but I’m sure I heard the gag long before Billy found fame.
Musical Links of Rossini and The Lone Ranger
As far back as 1933 The Lone Ranger’s radio series opened to Rossini’s William Tell Overture.
When the eponymous Ranger appeared on Britain’s black and white tellies in the 50s the theme music stayed faithful to the section from the overture.
Even the 2013 Johnny Depp remake used Rossini’s piece to accompany the movie’s opening titles.
Every time I fail the William Tell test. I feel like whooping ‘Hi Ho Silver’ along to an opera that should evoke Swiss, not Western heroics.
I also fail to make the musical links of many snatches of the classics that are appropriated for a less cultured audience.
For me, [easyazon_link identifier=”B0001901ZO” locale=”UK” tag=”denanddismalv-21″]Nessun Dorma[/easyazon_link] is the background music to Chris Waddle’s Italia 90 penalty miss.
As far as I know Hollywood commissioned Wagner to write ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ for ‘Apocalypse Now’.
I can sing all the words to the Neopolitan Song ‘[easyazon_link identifier=”B0000041OO” locale=”UK” tag=”denanddismalv-21″]O sole mio[/easyazon_link]’. It begins ‘Just one Cornetto, give it to me…’
O Fortuna from Carl Orff’s cantata [easyazon_link identifier=”B000001GQP” locale=”UK” tag=”denanddismalv-21″]Carmina Burana[/easyazon_link] are musical links that used to accompany Old Spice aftershave being splashed on in slow motion for a TV commercial.
Presently it tries to inject drama where none actually exists in The X Factor.
But I blush to recall my worst musical philistinism.
Musical Links of the Humperdincks
Bored, I was surfing the channels when something by one of the old lounge crooners of the 1960s caught my eye on Sky Arts.
His career had slipped from the peaks of topping both Sunday Night at the London Palladium’s bill and the singles chart. He went on to earn fortunes in long running Las Vegas residences.
In his autumn years it seemed he had branched out to write a children’s opera. Intrigued by this brave artistic direction I tuned in.
Enchantment by children in beautiful costumes. Their charming singing and the sophisticated, I might even say ‘serious’ musical arrangement.
While I kept watching out for the old singer’s appearance, I speculated how he might have written himself into it. A kindly uncle, a wandering minstrel or perhaps a sinister pied piper-like figure.
Slowly, then it dawned on me. Wasn’t there a German classical composer who was the original Englebert Humperdinck?