Flash Mob Gives Dramatic Performance of Ravel's Bolero

Friday, August 05, 2011 - 12:17 PM

It was only a matter of time. Ravel’s Bolero, the world's longest and most seductive musical crescendo, has been given the flash-mob treatment.

Using a five-minute arrangement of the piece, the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra staged one of those hit-and-run performances in Copenhagen Central Station on May 2. The skillfully edited video, which shows dozens of delighted and surprised commuters, has received over 133,000 views since May 27.

While flash mobs keep springing up in food courts, grocery store aisles, public parks and transit stations, this performance makes particularly clever use of the inherent drama of the piece itself.

Update: Copenhagen Philharmonic spokesman Stine Larson reports that the orchestra spent six months preparing this performance, from getting permissions to shipping the instruments in trucks. The orchestra hired two cameramen, one placed on the roof of a store in the station concourse and the other moving amongst the audience and musicians.

Larson added: "We also wanted the sound to be as good as possible, so close to the conductor they placed a small microphone on the ground. In the editing phase, it took some time to synchronize the sound and, for example, the conductor's movements, but it succeeded at last."

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Comments [12]

Susan Schuerr from NW Chicago, IL

Watching the musicians display their magic in Copenhagen brought tears to my eyes. There is such power and majesty in superb classical music. It's a time to stop the rush of life and to step into another world---a world of peace, beauty and tranquility.

Jun. 21 2014 11:12 PM
Klaus Staerker from Proctorville, Ohio, USA

If people of all nations would play music together and join to listen to each other's performances -- we would have taken the first step toward world peace. Music is that powerful!

Mar. 19 2014 11:47 AM
Michael from Atlanta, GA

I would love to have experienced the ENTIRE performance. I'd also love to see something similar happen here in Atlanta.

Nov. 13 2011 09:29 PM
Shirley Kahn from California,USA

I can't express my delight every time I have watched this video ( five timed so far) since receiving it via email last week (10/3/2011).
The unassuming way the orchestra gathers in momento as the piece crescendoes, their common and understated clothes just enhance the brilliance of the orchestra to the surprise of the audience. I'm ready to go to Copenhagen to hear them live.

Oct. 06 2011 11:07 AM
Yvette Zamost from N.J., USA

Fantastic!!! Would like to see this done in all the U.S. cities, to get the young interested in good music!!!!!

Yvette Zamost

Aug. 17 2011 09:51 AM
Anne Graydon

Really cool . . . a Danish interpretation of
Bolero! Looks like Grand Central Station, as well!!

Aug. 16 2011 01:48 AM
John J. Christiano from Franklin NJ

Is this the answer to high priced show tickets and discontented orchestras and opera compaines?

Aug. 10 2011 09:29 AM
Anon

Let's do this in America, now.

Aug. 07 2011 12:10 PM
Bo from Hicksville, NY

Wow! Awesome! An orchestra - now that is a feat! Bravo

Aug. 05 2011 08:48 PM

Wow. One of the sharpest interpretations I've heard. Love the crowd reactions! And how on earth did they sneak in those kettledrums?

Aug. 05 2011 02:19 PM

I don't know what I love most:

-the fact that there were so many wide-eyed children watching so intently.
-the fact that people seemed so genuinely enthralled.
-the way the harp and tympani just appeared all of a sudden.
-how the musicians just left when they were done and the spectators looked bewildered.

Aug. 05 2011 01:22 PM
Go Pats from Orleans, MA

When you mentioned grocery stores, I thought you might have meant this one - 4th of July weekend on Cape Cod! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5lbNXNn3CI

Aug. 05 2011 12:46 PM

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