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Richard inspired by classical music...

Walkinat9

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Hi all,

I think many of us here are aware of a few Carpenters recordings that were (partly) inspired by classical music pieces.

The ones I could think of and found mentioned here on the forum are:

From This Moment On (1976, live)
Prelude & Fugue in C Minor, BWV 847 (J.S. Bach)

Intermission (1972)
Crucifix (Antonio Lotti)

Another Song (1970)
"Messiah" (G.F. Händel) (but I don't know which part of it)

Crescent Noon (1970)
similar style to Gymnopedie No. 1 (Erik Satie)


Does anyone know of other Carpenters recordings with references to classical pieces?


I think I found one more myself...
During the pandemic I listened to a lot of classical piano music through adding concert dates to the Setlist.fm website by famous composers like Edvard Grieg, Alexander Scriabin and duo concerts by Frédéric Chopin & Franz Liszt. I had heard of their names before and also some of their works, but it was interesting to read in old newspapers about concerts they gave themselves and how they were received.

Besides these composers I also added dates by 2 French pianists who were famous around 1900, but practically completely forgotten now, so I decided to try and drag them out of oblivion by adding their concerts too; Francis Planté and Léon Delafosse. And this is where Richard comes in...
These 2 pianists were 35 years apart and performed together at a special concert for/by French composer Camille Saint-Saens who celebrated his 60 year musical career. Must have been a special sight, seeing those 2 greats of 2 different generations, Planté in his late 60s and Delafosse in his early 30s (dare I make a comparison, age-wise, to Olivia dancing with Gene Kelly in Xanadu? :) ).

One of the pieces they played together was Saint-Saens' Scherzo for 2 pianos. When I heard the first 8 seconds (and only *that* bit), that going up and down the scale (don't know the musical term) sounded so familiar to me:

And then I realized what it reminded me of.... Might be a bit far-fetched perhaps and it's not the exact same notes, but I do think it's even in the same key as this bit here (at 0:23) :

Pure genius of 19-year old Richard to let that bit inspire him to write a whole new jazz tune around it (or incorporate it in a composition he had already been working on). Unless of course this is all pure coincidence and then it would just be a case of "great minds think alike" 🤓

Btw, that Saint-Saens piece has become one of my favorite classical pieces now. It starts out a bit rainy and dreary, but after less than a minute it becomes a lot more light-hearted :)


Greg
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Hi all,

I think many of us here are aware of a few Carpenters recordings that were (partly) inspired by classical music pieces.

The ones I could think of and found mentioned here on the forum are:

From This Moment On (1976, live)
Prelude & Fugue in C Minor, BWV 847 (J.S. Bach)

Intermission (1972)
Crucifix (Antonio Lotti)

Another Song (1970)
"Messiah" (G.F. Händel) (but I don't know which part of it)

Crescent Noon (1970)
similar style to Gymnopedie No. 1 (Erik Satie)


Does anyone know of other Carpenters recordings with references to classical pieces?


I think I found one more myself...
During the pandemic I listened to a lot of classical piano music through adding concert dates to the Setlist.fm website by famous composers like Edvard Grieg, Alexander Scriabin and duo concerts by Frédéric Chopin & Franz Liszt. I had heard of their names before and also some of their works, but it was interesting to read in old newspapers about concerts they gave themselves and how they were received.

Besides these composers I also added dates by 2 French pianists who were famous around 1900, but practically completely forgotten now, so I decided to try and drag them out of oblivion by adding their concerts too; Francis Planté and Léon Delafosse. And this is where Richard comes in...
These 2 pianists were 35 years apart and performed together at a special concert for/by French composer Camille Saint-Saens who celebrated his 60 year musical career. Must have been a special sight, seeing those 2 greats of 2 different generations, Planté in his late 60s and Delafosse in his early 30s (dare I make a comparison, age-wise, to Olivia dancing with Gene Kelly in Xanadu? :) ).

One of the pieces they played together was Saint-Saens' Scherzo for 2 pianos. When I heard the first 8 seconds (and only *that* bit), that going up and down the scale (don't know the musical term) sounded so familiar to me:

And then I realized what it reminded me of.... Might be a bit far-fetched perhaps and it's not the exact same notes, but I do think it's even in the same key as this bit here (at 0:23) :

Pure genius of 19-year old Richard to let that bit inspire him to write a whole new jazz tune around it (or incorporate it in a composition he had already been working on). Unless of course this is all pure coincidence and then it would just be a case of "great minds think alike" 🤓

Btw, that Saint-Saens piece has become one of my favorite classical pieces now. It starts out a bit rainy and dreary, but after less than a minute it becomes a lot more light-hearted :)


Greg
Hi, Greg.

'Invocation' is, as well, I think. I can't remember what it's taken from, if so.
 

Tony

Well-Known Member
You can add Alexander Borodin to the list. Referring to "Another Song" Richard wrote:

"A perfect example of pretentious, wacky 60s musical abandon, it is complete with a recitative (lifted from Handel) and extended solo backside. Karen’s and my multi-tracked vocal break, which precedes the Borodin-inspired penultimate section, however, is still thrilling to listen to."
 

Walkinat9

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Hi, Greg.

'Invocation' is, as well, I think. I can't remember what it's taken from, if so.
Thanks A. Son, yes it does indeed sound like it might be derived from some classical piece, doesn't it?
I've always liked the medievalness of this track and then the (to my ears) jazzy chords that Karen & Richard sing when they go "And place in me the agony you bear" <3
 

Walkinat9

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I think you forgot that Richard recorded The Nutcracker Suite for the 1977 Christmas special and then put it on An Old-Fashioned Christmas.
It's true, Tom, these are classical pieces that were recorded (just like the Warsaw Concerto that Richard played live), but I'm actually looking for Carpenters recordings that make references to or are in some way inspired by a classical piece, without actually being that classical piece itself (hope that makes any sense 🙃 )
 

Walkinat9

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
You can add Alexander Borodin to the list. Referring to "Another Song" Richard wrote:

"A perfect example of pretentious, wacky 60s musical abandon, it is complete with a recitative (lifted from Handel) and extended solo backside. Karen’s and my multi-tracked vocal break, which precedes the Borodin-inspired penultimate section, however, is still thrilling to listen to."
Thanks Tony, that's a new name for me in classical music, Alexander Borodin. Just listened to a bit of his Polovetsian Dances from "Prince Igor", sounds nice and pleasant.
However, do you have any idea what Borodin composition Richard could have been referring to? Or is it just his style in general that inspired him?

Still trying to figure out which part of Handel's "Messiah" inspired Richard for Another Song. May have to listen to the whole 2 hour+ piece to find out 😬
 

Walkinat9

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
What a fascinating thread! I know nothing about classical music at all.
Well, I'm no expert either, Mark, but reading 100+ year old reviews and seeing titles of pieces in them and in programs (published in the newspapers back then) made me curious about what they sounded like...thank goodness for YouTube :)

You may recognize 1 or 2 pieces in these two videos :wink:
21 famous piano pieces you've heard but don't know the name (YouTube, <9 mins.)

32 really famous classical (orchestral) pieces you've heard and don't know the name (YouTube, <10 mins.)
 
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