Monday, June 29, 2009

Prima, Paganini, Beethoven: Here Comes the "New" Music for Next Season

Sometimes I think that every May, the top skaters in the world all sit together in a large auditorium while Dick Button reaches into a miniature Zamboni and draws name after name of different pieces of well-known skating music (the same 3 dozen pieces of music, mind you) and the skaters bid on them for use in the upcoming season. A veritable war-horse auction, as it were: And that’s two hundred from the Japanese gentleman for “West Side Story”, two hundred, do I hear two-twenty five? Two hundred going once, going tw—two-twenty five from the Canadian pair in the back! Two twenty-five? Do I hear two-fifty??

I’m not saying skaters don’t put a lot of time and energy and thought into their annual music decisions—but for all the time they DO put in, it’s surprising how much of it we’ve all heard before. Plenty of it is absolutely wonderful, but it’s like spending all your time listening to a Top 40 radio station when there’s a whole dial full of other wonderful choices out there.

That being said, it looks like our number-two singles skaters in the U.S. have both made their music choices for 2009-10:

For Rachael Flatt : Louis Prima’s “Sing Sing Sing” for the SP; Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” for the Free Skate

For Brandon Mroz : a Latin medley including Tito Puente's "Temptation," "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" by Perez Prado and "Mambo Jambo" by Terry Snyder for the SP; Beethoven's "Symphony no. 5" and "Romance in F major” for the Free Skate

Articles on the progress of both can be found right now at My first thoughts on all the choices…

For Flatt—it’s a well-worn piece for sure, but I adore “Sing Sing Sing” (or Sing-cubed as I like to say) in the SP. And I think it’ll be a nice fit for Flatt; would be lovely if we can hear her pumping up the Vancouver crowd with it next Februrary, wouldn’t it? As for the Paganini, well… it’s frequently used with good reason, and it’s probably distinctive enough to work in her favor. Let’s see what happens.

And for Mroz—while I’m intrigued by his SP idea, I’d probably be more intrigued if I wasn’t afraid it was going to draw instant comparisons to Ryan Bradley. At least one of those selections (“Cherry Pink”) was used in Bradley’s medley… when it comes to Beethoven’s Fifth, though, I tend to recall two separate visions: Michael Weiss using it a few years ago, and Lexie Winston allegedly winning Sectionals with the disco version of it (in the original Ice Castles movie). Given that, maybe Mroz can work some new magic with it for me. I must admit I’m not familiar enough with the second Beethoven piece… (hey, maybe that’s a good thing!)

Would love to hear your thoughts!

I’m naming one of the more recent spins on “Sing” (Jeffrey Buttle’s SP from a few years back) as the
Clip of the Day.

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