One of the few places you can still regularly hear classical music is in figure skating so, besides the beauty of the skating, I've also really enjoyed the music during the Olympic figure skating. In the Exhibition Gala last night, South Korean, gold medal champion Kim Yu-Na skated to the lovely Meditation from the opera, Thais (1894), by the French composer, Jules Massenet. Massenet's operas were very popular in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Here's a performance by Sarah Chang, violinist, with Placido Domingo conducting the Berlin Philharmonic:
Not that I think that figure skating always has to be done to classical music. The Canadian gold medal Ice Dancing duo, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, had a fun performance using both Tchaikovsky's Spanish Dance, from the Nutcracker, and C & C Music Factory's Everybody Dance Now (video from the Canadian championship).
- If this piece seems familiar from your childhood (or your children's childhoods), it may be because it was used in the 1973, animated version of A Cricket in Times Square (one of my favorite book animations).
- Photos from the 2010 Olympic skaters' Exhibition Gala