Thursday, August 18, 2011

More Noteworthies: Music Choices from the World Championship's Top 10

Wouldn’t it be interesting if all the athletes who finished 6th through 10th at Worlds had music selections the following season that reflected either a desire to make a first-time move into next year’s Top 5 (as the likes of Florent Amodio and Ksenia Makarova surely possess), or a desire to rebound from a disappointing finish (Nobunari Oda, Brian Joubert, Mao Asada… I’m looking at you three)?

Wouldn’t it, indeed! But with only half of these skaters’ music announced to the world at this time, it’s tough getting a good cross-representation of it all. Here are a few of the more eye-catching/ear-catching offerings of which I’ve taken note thus far:

For the MEN-- Richard Dornbush’s SP to “16 Tons” (a late-1950s hit for “Tennessee” Ernie Ford) and an FS that includes the William Tell Overture.

Because… well, hearing “16 Tons” at a major skating event is kind of like when the band R.E.M. did a cover version of Roger Miller’s “King of the Road”…it’s a surprising choice at a most unexpected time. I haven’t seen enough of Dornbush to get a real sense of his personality, but without even seeing the program I feel like I know him better now, and that I like what I “know.” As for his use of Rossini’s WTO—also known in my mom’s day as the Lone Ranger Theme Song—how can anyone NOT love that choice?

For the LADIES—Ksenia Makarova’s FS to the OST of Some Like it Hot.

Because… much as last year’s program encouraged Makarova to channel her inner Broadway diva by way of Evita, this one is destined to bring out the Hollywood diva in her by way of Some Like it Hot’s co-star, Marilyn Monroe. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the film, and don’t remember much about its music. But this sounds like it could be a lot of fun for Makarova.

For the PAIRS—Denney/Coughlin’s FS to Nessum Dorma.

Because while yes, it IS a warhorse…they are apparently changing it up by using some of guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck’s recent version (as evidenced in the second half of this
Clip of the Day ). I’ll take whatever variations I can get… and I happen to think these two are powerful enough skaters to pull it off.

For DANCE-- Ilinykh/ Katsalapov’s FD to Ave Maria.

Because, as you probably know, there’s more than one way to compose a piece called Ave Maria… and this one (
heard here) is by Russian composer Vladimir Vavilov. Does anyone know if it’s been used recently by anyone else?

One other music choice of note: get ready for a couple of doses of a “hip-hop” Carmina Burana this season. One is the SP of Finland’s Kiira Korpi; the other is the SP of Czech Republic’s Tomas Verner. Will either of them come close to the excitement level that was generated by Daisuke Takahashi’s hip-hop Swan Lake SP a few years ago? And which one do you look most forward to seeing? Both are scheduled to debut their SPs at NHK Trophy this fall.

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