Recycling Classical Music For Earth Day

Saturday, April 17, 2010 - 12:00 AM

Who was the most ‘green’ composer? Verdi? OK, a good suggestion, but not where I’m going. My vote would be Vivaldi. It has been said that Vivaldi didn’t write a thousand pieces...he wrote the same piece a thousand times. As Earth Day approaches, our minds are turning to those who were great at RECYCLING. You might call it stealing, borrowing, appropriating, arranging, an accident or (you who are more generous) might call it the use of homage, but we like recycling.

Copland, Dvorak and countless others recycled folk tunes.

Brahms, Haydn, Mahler and Stephen Sondheim, et al, recycled the Dies Irae from the 13th Century.

Elvis recycled ‘O Sole Mio’ into “It’s Now or Never.”

Pop Singer Eric Carmen recycled Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto for the melody for “All By Myself.”

Borodin’s Polovetsian Dances were recycled into “Strangers in Paradise” in the Broadway musical Kismet.

John Williams recycles everybody.

And Gershwin recycled himself.

OK, now you? What recycled classical music comes to your mind? Give us your suggestion then tune in on Earth Day to hear the pieces.

More in:

Comments [113]

Dana from Boston, MA

By far, the one that recycled the most was Rossini. I am SO grateful that he recycled all of his great arias and motives from one opera to another, but the most grateful I am for him recycling the Cenerentola aria into Cerere's aria from Le Nozze di Teti e di Peleo, making it accesible to sopranos.

Apr. 22 2011 04:29 PM
judy Perlman

Aaron Copland recycled Quaker folk songs; and in turn one was used in a
1960 Rock 'n Roll hit"Tom Dooley">

Another classical piece was recycled into Alan Sherman's1963 hit "Hello Mudda, Hello Fodda. Mozart's piece
recyled into "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" Another classical piece made
into a Perry Como song, "Hot Digety
Dog Digety Boom What You Do To Me. (Oh Oh, I'm showing my age now
Should I go on and on...

Apr. 25 2010 02:50 PM
Fred Polvere from Yonkers, NY

Elizabeth K from New York wrote: "It was great to hear Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty Suite this afternoon, but it would have been fun to follow it up with "Once Upon a Dream" from the Disney movie of the fairy tale."

That sums up an underwhelming Earth Day at WQXR. If you had followed up on the work of your listeners, you would have included a snippet or more of the recycled work.

Not a taste of Rheingold the dry beer.
Not a glimpse of Camp Grenanda.
We didn't even get a "Hi-Yo Silver."

Apr. 23 2010 07:55 AM
ed sheppard from NYC

Did anyone mention Larry Clinton's My Reverie based on Debussy's Reverie or Eddie Duchin's My Twilight Dream based on Chopin's E flat Nocturne? And this evening I just listened to the Chordettes vocal version on Hadjidakis's Never On Sunday.
Also...has anyone mentioned just how much fun this has been? Especially reading all the reader's blogs that jog old memories.

Apr. 23 2010 01:31 AM
Virginia Kerr from Bergenfield, NJ

Don't forget Grieg and "The Song of Norway"? Prelude & Legend (Grieg's A Minor Concerto) Freddy and His Fiddle (Norwegian Dance No.2), Now (Second Violin Sonata and Waltz), Strange Music (Wedding in Troldhaugen), and Midsummer's Eve (Scherzo in E).

Apr. 22 2010 06:09 PM
Elizabeth K from New York

It was great to hear Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty Suite this afternoon, but it would have been fun to follow it up with "Once Upon a Dream" from the Disney movie of the fairy tale, the entire score of which was cleverly reworked from the ballet. My husband and I had a tough time choosing, but we went with the original orchestral version of the "Sleeping Beauty Waltz" for our first dance at our wedding last year!

Apr. 22 2010 04:53 PM
Thomas Bias from Sparta, NJ

This is a follow up to a post about the Habanera from Bizet's "Carmen," which was a "recycled" Spanish popular song. Here's what I got from Wikipedia: "...Its score was adapted from the habanera 'El Arreglito,' originally composed by the Spanish musician Sebastián Yradier. Bizet used the melody in the belief that it was a folk song. When he was made aware that it had been written by a composer who had died only ten years earlier, he added a note to the vocal score of Carmen, acknowledging its source."

Apr. 22 2010 04:33 PM
Fred Gottesman from New Jersey

Volvo used "The Lark Ascending" for one of its commercials a few years ago

Apr. 22 2010 04:02 PM
Claudia from long island

how about Bernstein's
Candide for Earth Day
We must cultivate the Garden!

Apr. 22 2010 03:41 PM
Susan Gutterman from NYC

I wonder why my earlier comment didn't register, mentioning Jeff Spurgeon & Boccherini in Master & Commander & one i haven't seen mentioned: John Williams' Theme from Star Wars owes a lot to Glazunov's Autumn.
A question: there is a repeated melody in Sibelius' Fifth Symphony that was heavily used in a TV show -- anyone remember which one?

Apr. 22 2010 03:24 PM
nbm from Brooklyn

That's a bizarrely Romantic version of Corelli. I wish we could also have heard an earlier set of Folia variations in a more HIP performance. Or a medley of L'Homme arme versions -- you could range from the mid-15th to the 21st century.

Apr. 22 2010 01:42 PM
cathy from Mahwah

How about "Green"sleeves/What Child is This? Dating back to the 1500's it has been an English folk tune and a Christmas holiday tune. Truly a versitle and enriching piece of music!

Apr. 22 2010 01:41 PM
Gerry from Summit, New Jersey

La Folia Actually originalted in Portugal and was first recorded by one of the best know Portuguese play writers of the XVI century, Gil Vicente.

Wikipedia shows the following:

Historical significance
Over the course of three centuries, more than 150 composers have used it in their works. The first publications of this theme date from the middle of the 17th century, but it is probably much older. Plays of the renaissance theatre in Portugal, including works by Gil Vicente, mention the folia as a dance performed by shepherds or peasants. The Portuguese origin is recorded in the 1577 treatise De musica libri septem by Francisco de Salinas.

Apr. 22 2010 01:33 PM
Charles Janson from West Hempstead, L.I.

"The Syncopated Clock" written in 1945 by Leroy Anderson was used by the WCBS-TV program called the "Late Show," airing old movies throughout the 50s and 60s.

Apr. 22 2010 11:33 AM
Peter O'Malley from Oakland, New Jersey

In my earlier comment, which has disappeared for unknown reasons, I had mentioned Ian Anderson's purloining, for the Jethro Tull "Stand Up" album, of a J.S. Bach Bouree, and listing himself as the composer. I also mentioned The Doors' use of "Alabama Song" (Kurt Weill, " . . .City of Mahogonny") for "Whiskey Bar", and Albeniz's "Leyenda (Asturias)", part of which appeared in "Spanish Caravan" on their "Lizard King" album.

On composers recycling their own stuff, Mahler "resurrected" his "Totenfeier" as the first movement of his Second Symphony, and used parts of his "Songs of a Wayfarer" in the First Symphony. Several choruses from Handell's "Messiah" appeared earlier in instrumental form, e.g., "lift up your heads"; and "and the Glory of the Lord."

Apr. 22 2010 10:19 AM
Jerry D from Brooklyn

WarnerBbrothers used opera and classic music in almost all their cartoons( Bugs Bunny in most.) for a lot of us kids it was our first introduction to classical music.

Apr. 22 2010 09:29 AM

Brahms recycled Gaudeamus Igitur in the Academic Festival overture.

Apr. 22 2010 09:03 AM
John Moran from Jackson Heights Queens

I loved hearing the Rheingold beer commercial from the 1950s. I recalled it instantly, though I haven't thought about it since childhood.

Recyling music a great idea.

Apr. 22 2010 09:01 AM
Lori Battista from East Meadow NY

Have not read all comments, but I do know that The Beatles song "Because" was partly influenced by Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata, played backwards.

Apr. 22 2010 09:01 AM
Newton from Brooklyn

Speaking of a famous modern instance of "classical" recycling, let's keep in mind Mr. Carl Orff, who searched through a translated copy of the 13th-century Benediktbeuern manuscript in order to create his modern version (in 1936?) of medieval music:
I'm referring, of course, to Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana."

(Personally, I prefer the medieval version.)

Apr. 22 2010 07:53 AM
Rona Weiss

How about the old Supreme's song,
A Lover's Concerto from Bach's
Minuet in G?

This recycled music idea is wonderfully creative and a great way to involve the listeners- thanks!

Apr. 21 2010 10:28 PM

A few Prokoviev references:
-Sting - "Russians" uses a theme from 'Lieutenant Kijé' on the 'Dream of the Blue Turtles".
-Emerson, Lake and Palmer - "I Believe in Father Christmas" also uses music from Lt. Lieutenant Kijé .

Apr. 21 2010 09:52 PM
Ed Sheppard from New York City

To answer a few questions ... Masterpiece Theater used DeLalande's Symphonies for the King's Supper and Hello mudder, hello fadder is Ponchielli's Dance of the Hours. Now for a few that weren't mentioned (I think). R. Strauss Todt und Verklårung for 2001, Perry Como's No Other Love Have I is from Robt Russell Bennett's Victory at Sea, The French Film "The Lovers" uses Brahms op 18 sextet throughout the film, the bridge music from the old Shadow radio program is from St Saens Le Rouet d'Omphale, Harry James did a bravaura trumpet version of the Flight of the Bumblebee, Woody Herman's Blues on Parade is a big band version of Rossini's Cujus Animamn and his Woodchopper's Ball is Verdi's Bella Figlia del'amore, Freddy Martin did a pop version of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto #1 and the Rachmaninov #2 and finally, Kieth Olberman's Countdown uses Beethoven 9th ans his theme.

Apr. 21 2010 08:52 PM
Rick Roderick from Louisville, KY

Here are a few more. Some songs sound like other songs, but I can't always tell if they are recycled.

The Mendelsohn Violin Concerto, Second Movement, sounds a lot like I Don't KNow How to Love HIm from Jesus Christ, Superstar.

The hymn "Seek Ye First the KIngdom of God" starts out a lot like Les Preludes, by Franz Liszt.

Apr. 21 2010 07:49 PM
Rick Roderick from Louisville, KY

Here are a few of mine. Bach recyling Vivaldi for the concerto for three harpsichords.

Handel wrote a concerto using parts of the Messiah.

Prokofiev used a common 1920s motif that ended popular tunes in the second movement of his Fifth Symphony.

The song, Hot Digity dog, by Perry Como, uses a theme from Espagne, by Chabrier.

Emerson's Knife Edge is based on the first and last movements of Janacek's Symphonietta.

The third movement of Mahler's First Symphony has Frere Jacques.

Apr. 21 2010 07:39 PM
Steven Lanser from Manhattan

Handel recycled his own pieces countless times. He should probably be included.

Apr. 21 2010 05:58 PM
Phyllis Sharpe from New Jersey

I don't think anyone mentioned Brahms Hungarian Rhasody #4 which I remember as As Time Goes By.
"As time goes by
and youth has (fled or gone)
As time goes by
bla bla bla bla
I'll still have you
You'll still have me
To love as time goes by."
I don't remember when or where I heard it, or who the singer was.
I wild guess is Hoagie Carmichael in a movie.

Apr. 21 2010 04:05 PM
Rich from The Bronx

Some 25 years ago a phone company (I forget which) ran a commercial with a voice over by Leonard Nimoy and music from Elgar's Enigma Variations. I remember because WQXR ran a contest to name the work and I won. Received a Colin Davis LP recording of the work as the prize.

Apr. 21 2010 12:39 PM
Michael from Montebello, NY

How about older works recycled as inspired new ones? For example Penny Lane (Magical Mystery Tour) by the Beatles inspired by the 2nd Brandenburg Concerto and Because (Abbey Road) inspired by The Moonlight Sonata.

Apr. 21 2010 11:35 AM
Rich from The Bronx

In the 1930's Bernard Herrmann wrote a concert work called Sinfonietta For String Orchestra. Some 25 years later much of the work would be reworked into his score for Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho". Herrmann was a pretty good recycler. Large parts of his film scores for "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" and "Jane Eyre" were later worked into his opera "Wuthering Heights".

Apr. 21 2010 11:09 AM
Robin O. from Livingston, NJ

Anyone recall Ian Anderson, the flutest from rock and roll's Jethro Tull? He played one of the Bourées of J.S. Bach on their album "Stand Up," circa 1969.

Apr. 20 2010 07:26 PM

I believe I heard a piano version of Beethoven's violin concerto on WQXR many years ago.

Apr. 20 2010 05:26 PM
John Koster from Glen Rock, New Jersey

Dion diMucci -- "The Wanderer" -- based on the Schmelzlied from Wagner's "Siegfried" which features The Wanderer as a character -- Wotan in disguise. Shocking Blue based a song called "Venus" on the Pilgrim's Chorus from "Tannhaeuser." Jackie Wilson sand "My Empty Arms" -- "vesti la giubba" from Pagliacci -- and "Night" from Saint-Saens "Samson et Dalilah."

Apr. 20 2010 04:49 PM

"ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space" by spiritualized (1997) recycles the melody from pachelbel's canon in d major...

Apr. 20 2010 04:40 PM
Michael from Montebello, NY

Another recycling method is to re-orchestrate something for completely different instrumentation. For example, this Albinoni work, Concerto St. Marc, originally written for organ, has been scored for tuba and wind quartet:

It gives the work a new perspective.

Apr. 19 2010 03:19 PM
Thomas from NWNJ

How about Isao Tomita's take on Debussy? Do you remember "Snowflakes are dancing"?

Apr. 19 2010 10:41 AM
Alice Gilman from ramsey, nj

How about Greg Lake's Christmas song, which is note for note the Lt. Keji Suite by Prokofiev, or Emerson, Lake (same Lake), and Palmer's Rodeo

Apr. 19 2010 09:03 AM
Barbara Mehlman from Great Neck, NY

Jo Stafford's "No Other Love" was Chopin's Etude in E
Bach's 4th Brandenburg is also his 7th Harpsichord Concerto

Apr. 18 2010 10:19 PM
A.Solloway from nyc

The 1961 film "Good bye again' used Brahms 3rd symphony.Of course it was from the novel Aimez-Vous Brahms? by Françoise Sagan.

Apr. 18 2010 03:39 PM
Ron B from NYC area

Recycled Earth day

Please consider of -(Modest Mussorgsky's) Pictures at an Exhibition by Emerson Lake and Palmer a contemporary interpretation of a classical work

Apr. 18 2010 03:20 PM
Eve Hershkowitz from Brielle, NJ

Forgot .. the TV show "Wings" used Schubert's Piano Sonata No. 20 in A Major.

Apr. 18 2010 01:57 PM
Eve Hershkowitz from Brielle, NJ

Von Reznicek’s “Donna Diana” Overture was used for the theme song of 1950's TV show “Sergeant Preston of the Yukon”.
Gioachino Rossini’s “William Tell Overture” was used for the theme song of TV's “The Lone Ranger”. Verdi’s Il Trovatore's, “Di quella pira”(Enrico Caruso) was used in a PBS “Stay Curious” commercial. Delibes’ “Lakme” “Flower Duet” was used by British Airways in many of their Commercials. Handel’s “Sarabande” was used in the movies “Barry Lyndon” and “Pride and Prejudice”. Beethoven Symphony #7 mvt II was used in “Mr. Holland’s Opus”. The movie “The Year of Living Dangerously” had a score by Vangelis, but Strauss’ “Four Last Songs, "Beim Schlafengehen" (Te Kanawa) was heard as well.

Apr. 18 2010 01:51 PM
Jeanne from Nutley, NJ

I keep thinking of all those great British Comedies on TV - I can't remember what the source, but "Keeping Up Appearances" and "Masterpiece Theater" are two that come to mind. Also "Mystery" Maybe someone will come up with the names and composers of those familiar melodies.

Apr. 18 2010 12:50 PM
george mowad from woodland park,nj

larry clinton, of big band era wrote songs"my reverie,and "our love" based on tchaikovsky melodies

Apr. 18 2010 11:37 AM
Michele Glotzer from Larchmont, NY

I skimmed through all the posted comments and am very excited that no one noted this yet: Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata was used by John Lennon in "Because." Tell this to anyone and watch their face as they hear it in their mind's ear.

Apr. 18 2010 10:58 AM
Craig Pritch from Somerset, NJ

Stranger in Paradise, from "Kismet" is of course the Gliding Dance of the Maidens by Borodin.

Somewhere, from West Side Story (Bernstein) was taken from the slow movment of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5

J.S. Bach recycled the sinfonia of cantata No. 15 to write his Partita in E.

Dvorak also recycled plenty of Beethoven, especially in his 9th Symphony "From the New World," notably the Egmont Overture and Beethoven's 9th.

Apr. 18 2010 10:55 AM
Lee Knuth from Garden City South

Even Everybody Loves Raymond recycled-- Beethoven--the chorus from the 9th Symphony.

Apr. 18 2010 10:53 AM
Gadi Kaplan from New York

Sean Shepherd recycled a melody from Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin in his pieceThese Particular Circumstances, which was premiered yesterday (April 17) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of the Contacts New Music series of the New York Philharmonic. You may call it a double recycle because Ravel himself recycled Couperin for his own piece.

Apr. 18 2010 10:11 AM
Anthony Gray from Closter, NJ

Al Jolson's "Anniversary Song" (1946) is based on "Waves of the Danube" (1880) by Ion Ivanovici. “My Prayer”, recorded by The Platters and The Ink Spots among others, is based on Georges Boulanger’s 1924 tango “Avant de Mourir.”

The theme music for the 1969-1974 British TV program “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” comes from “The Liberty Bell” (1893) by John Philip Sousa

Schumann's "Papillons" Finale (1831) includes a German folk tune, "Grandfather Dance", also used by Tchaikovsky in Act 1 Scene 5 of "The Nutcracker" (1892).

“Rakoczy March” from “The Damnation of Faust” (1846) by Berlioz and “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 15” (1851) by Liszt are both based on the Rakoczi March, “the unofficial anthem of Hungary”, dating from about 1730.

The last movement of Beethoven’s “Eroica” symphony uses a theme that Beethoven used three times earlier, in a contra-dance, in "The Creatures of Prometheus", and in his Variations for Piano, Opus 35.

Rossini used the same melody for “Cessa di piu resistere” from “The Barber of Seville” (1816) and “Non piu mesta” from “La Cenerentola” (1817). Both arias are finales and express similar feelings of relief that all the complications have been sorted out and excitement about the bright future.

Apr. 18 2010 10:06 AM
A.Solloway from nyc

Elvis recycled Tony Martin's "There's no tomorrow" for "It's now or never, which is recycled "O sole mio".

Apr. 18 2010 08:23 AM
Sandy from New Jersey

My husband noticed that The Cornell University’s Evening Song melody is sung with a change of words and called Kellerman’s Anthem, near the end of the movie Dirty Dancing.
The 2nd movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto #21 was used in the movie Elvira Madigan.
The melody for the song “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” was adapted from Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu, Opus 66.

Apr. 18 2010 02:13 AM
Jamie from Brooklyn

Has anyone mentioned Nas' "I know I can (be what I wanna be)," which takes its melody, with very minor rhythmic alteration, from Beethoven's Fur Elise?

I always found something a little uncomfortable about a song that intends to send a message to black children that they can do and be anything they set their minds to, but relies on music by a 250-year-old German.

Apr. 17 2010 09:16 PM
Edward from Morris Twp, NJ

When I was listening to Elliot this morning (4/17), I immediately thoguht of Handel! He often recycled his own music, e.g. "An Occasional Oratorio." My favorite example is "Lift Up Your Heads" from "The Messiah," whose melody Handel reuses in "Concerto a due cori, No. 2 in F, HWV 333, III movement (a temo giusto). I guess when he was in a pinch to write some music to entertain the crowds at oratorios in 1748 at Covent Gardens, it seemed like a good solution. And for my mind I'll take both any day, any time! Urban legend says it's the basis for "Joy to the World," but I'm incredulous!

Apr. 17 2010 08:27 PM
Fred Polvere from Yonkers, NY

Brahms recycled old drinking songs in his Academic Festival Overture which was then recycled into Catch a Falling Star, written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss.

Apr. 17 2010 07:47 PM
Fred Polvere from Yonkers, NY

Adding to a previous post - The Minuet in G major from J.S. Bach's Notebook for Anna Magdalena was recycled in one of the best of all rock and roll songs - The Lover's Concerto.

Not mentioned is that when it was performed on the tv show Hullaballoo in 1965, the intro said, this song used to be known as Bach but now it's known as The Lover's Concerto.

Apr. 17 2010 07:40 PM
Fred Polvere from Yonkers, NY

Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 recycled by Gordon Bok in John O' Dreams.

When midnight comes and people homeward tread
Seek now your blanket and your feather bed
Home comes the rover, his journey's over [
Yield up the night time to old John O' Dreams
Yield up the night time to old John O' Dreams

Apr. 17 2010 07:34 PM
Fred Polvere from Yonkers, NY

Carmen - George Bizet recycled by the Marx Brothers in The Cocoanuts - words by Irving Berlin.

I want my shirt
I can't be happy without my shirt

Apr. 17 2010 07:31 PM
Fred Polvere from Yonkers, NY

Camille Saint-Saëns - Symphony # 3 recycled most wonderfully in the film Babe.

The mice (Greek chorus) sing "If I Had Words" to it with words by Jonathan Hodge.

If I had words to make a day for you,
I'd sing you a morning golden and new
I would make this day last for all time
Give you a night deep with moonshine

Apr. 17 2010 07:26 PM
Amy Stoller from NYC

The second movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony was recycled as the theme for the Huntley-Brinkley Report.

Apr. 17 2010 07:05 PM
Almenia Smith from Bronx, NY

I see someone has already mentioned the Grand Canyon Suite's "On The Trail." But I will still give that another vote. Perfect for Earth Day.

Apr. 17 2010 06:47 PM

Did I miss it?

"The Lone Ranger" radio series: Liszt "Les Prelude", and Rossini Overture from "William Tell".

Also, "Sergeant Preston", "Overture from Donna Diana"

Apr. 17 2010 05:03 PM
Susan McFeatters from New York City

I was convinced the #1 train played the first three notes (there's a place) of "Somewhere." Supposedly it's the uncommon intervals that makes it sound like that.

Apr. 17 2010 04:48 PM
Ilya S from NYC

1. King David asks God to recycle proud and evil people:

2. Don Giovanni recycles his girlfriend:

Apr. 17 2010 02:34 PM
Bob Walker from Dunellen, NJ

Another for the early Flash Gordon is the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto #1 and Parsifal - Act 3 and Rachmaninov Piano Concerto #3 and the Concerto #2, "I've come of Age", the composer slips my mind . . . but it was also used by Billy Storm and the Valiants, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Vale and Eddie Fisher. (I do remember Sgt. Preston of the Yukon and "my bear is Rheingold the dry beer"). And now, back to pulling weeds

Apr. 17 2010 02:29 PM
Bob Walker from Dunellen, NJ

Another for the early Flash Gordon is the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto #1 and Parsifal - Act 3 and Rachmaninov Piano Concerto #3 and the Concerto #2, "I've come of Age", the composer slips my mind . . . but it was also used by Billy Storm and the Valiants, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Vale and Eddie Fisher. (I do remember Sgt. Preston of the Yukon and "my bear is Rheingold the dry beer"). And now, back to pulling weeds

Apr. 17 2010 02:14 PM
Lucy Davidson from Port Washington, NY

When I was a teenager, my father opined that "all the good melodies have been taken." How about the Broadway musical "Song of Norway," which freely adopts and adapts the music of Edvard Grieg.

Apr. 17 2010 01:46 PM
Sam Cheung from New York City

British Airways wonderfully used the duet from Lakme in its ad several years ago, so much so that each time I hear the music I want to book a flight to London -- even with Iceland's volcano grounding numerous flights!
Also, the borderline-porn "Caligula" used the love-duet from ballet music Spartacus very effectively.
Now, who copied whom: "God save the King/Queen" and "My Country 'tis of thee."

Apr. 17 2010 12:18 PM
Rose Peña from Ardsley

Here we go:

"The Lamp is Low" , Pavane pour une infante défunte, Ravel

"Strange Music", Weddng in Troldhaugen, Greig

"If You Are But a Dream", Anton Rubenstein Romance in E flat

"The Breeze and I", Ernesto Lecuona,Andaucía

"Schroeder", Moonlight Sonata, Beethoven

"Once Upon a Dream", Sleeping Beauty, Tchaikovsky

"The Story of a Starry Night", Pathétique, Tchaikovsky...and a whole lot more!!

Apr. 17 2010 12:12 PM
Andrea from Morristown, New Jersey

Hi, Elliott:

How about:

Tchaikovsky's "Old French Song" and the Israeli National Anthem (see earlier comment from Barbara Sontz from New York, New York. I used to play in on the piano.


Borodin's "In the Steppes of Russia" for a large part in the remainder of "Kismet".

Any progress on your screenplay? I still think you should present it to talent, like Christopher Plummer and his daughter Amanda.

Apr. 17 2010 12:00 PM
Richard Viano

Correction -- Zsa Zsa's move -- Queen from Outer Space 1958 -- Polevtsian Dances (sp) - used throughout the movie

Apr. 17 2010 11:33 AM
andrew solloway from nyc

"On The Trail" from "The Grand Canyon Suite" was the old Philip Morris theme.

Apr. 17 2010 11:27 AM
Peter from Manhattan

It is self-referential (of course, "reuse" is one of the highest-return forms of recycling, with no collection/transfer/reprocessing involved), but the title, and main motif of the overture, of Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte" are a recycled phrase originally sung by Don Basilio in the Act I trio of "Le Nozze di Figaro."

Apr. 17 2010 11:24 AM
Allison Elliott from Staten Island

Every time I hear Charles Gounod's Funeral March Of A Marionette, I think of the summer of 1973. I was 16 years old and repeats of The Alfred Hitchcock show were on at 11 o'clock at night. All of the kids in the neighborhood would make sure we were home to watch it and then we would discuss the episode the next day. It was a fun time.

Apr. 17 2010 11:23 AM
Richard Viano from Santa Fe

Besides much of Chopin going to popular songs

The most recycled -- La Folia - tune first published in 1672 and then "recycled" by so many composers -- there is actually a website/publication for La Folia documenting and continually updating the recycled version

Also - Don't forget Ms. Gabor - Women from Venus movie using Polevetsian Dances-

Apr. 17 2010 11:22 AM
Cindy Legorreta

Eric Carmen encore: the sublime "NEVER GONNA FALL IN LOVE AGAIN", (when I worked for ASCAP we called these 'based-on's') ...based on Rachmaninoff's 2nd Symphony/3rd Movement. And my other fave: Della Reese's 1959 hit "DON'T YOU KNOW", nee Puccini's Musetta's waltz..from La Boheme. The original music was wonderful, so the retread's gotta be a winner!

Apr. 17 2010 11:21 AM
Kim Kellogg

I never get tired of hearing Sergei Rachmanioff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Opus 18 played back-to-back with Eric Carmen's "All By Myself".

~Thank you.

Apr. 17 2010 11:11 AM
Joanne Karetzky from Clifton, NJ

This probably only played on the West Coast, but when I was a kid, there was a TV commercial that utilized the Triumphal March from Aida. On a stage, Rhadames presents Aida with his gift of Golden Grain pasta and she sings: "Is that all you brought for me, spaghetti from It-aly. Another man's chick-adee, I'll be, you'll see!" The upshot of it is that Rhadames doesn't care because he has all the Golden Grain pasta that he can possibly ever want!

Apr. 17 2010 11:09 AM
bill siegler

''valkyire'' in apocalypse now

Apr. 17 2010 11:06 AM
Virginia Holloway from New York City

Early 1950's popular song "I Hear the Music Now" was based on a theme from Adolphe Adam's "Mignon".

Apr. 17 2010 10:59 AM
Al Grand from North Bellmore, NY 11710

The melody of THE MARINE'S HYMN ["From The Halls of Montezuma"] is taken from Offenbach's comic opera "Genvieve de Brabant" and is sung by two gendarmes.

The old radio program MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN used the Paul Dukas tone poem "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" as their theme music. Also used in the Mickey Mouse episode in the movie "Fantasia."

Sibelius's "Valse Triste" was used in the 1940's radio program I LOVE A MYSTERY.

The last movement of Beethoven's Piano Concerto #1 has a rhythmic section that sounds exactly like "Tico-Tico" to me!

Scarlatti's - Piano Sonata 491 has a passage that has the exact notes of the song "Rose O'Day" [you're my filla-ga-doo-sha, shi-na-ma-roo-sha boom-too-di-ay]

Albeniz-Cordoba - "Kiss Me Again" from Victor Herbert's Madmoiselle Modiste.

Gershwin's "It Ain't Necessarily So" begins with a Hebraic melody (chant) of one of the prayers that a Bar Mitzvah boy sings when he's called up to read from the torah. The prayer begins with the words "Boruch ato adonay,,,"

Apr. 17 2010 10:58 AM
daniel zadunaisky from mexico city, mexico

Old cartoons used plenty of classical music, and I don't mean Disney's "Fantasia". There was a piece by "Rockmaninoff" in a Flintstones episode. Rossini's "Barbiere" overture was a muched-used piece. Maestro Mickey Mouse conducted a fine version of the William Tell overture.
Great fun!

Apr. 17 2010 10:57 AM
Marie Alpert from Briarcliff Manor NY

Just thought of another--the theme from Tchaikovsky's "Capriccio Italien" is from an Italian folk song "Bella Ragazza delle Treccie Bionde" (Beautiful Girl with the Blond Braids).

Apr. 17 2010 10:47 AM
Bob Kandel from New York, NY

Grofe's "Grand Canyon Suite", 3rd Movement, became the theme for "I Love Lucy"!! Some of the music from "The Gladiator" strongly reminds me of some orchestral sections of "Das Reingold", though there may not be an exact match.

Apr. 17 2010 10:36 AM
Marie Alpert from Briaircliff Manor

Many years ago I had a recording of Camille St. Saens "Carnival of the Animals"
with Noel Coward reading verses by Ogden Nash. I was so surprised when I realized that the turtle's theme was from Offenbach's Gaete' Parisienne but played at turtle tempo. I tried the imagine the turtle's doing those kicks.

Apr. 17 2010 10:35 AM
Gene Panhorst from NYC

Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" was used over the opening credits and as a recurring theme in the 1932 version of "The Mummy" starring Boris Karlof and directed by Karl Freund. Not really recycling, but not its intended use either.

Apr. 17 2010 10:28 AM
John Flory from Morristown, NJ

What about the most well-know piece of American music, our National Anthem.
The words, "Oh say can you see ..." by Francis Scott Key, were set to a popular British drinking song, written by John Stafford Smith "The Anacreontic Song".
The original words began "To Anacreon in Heav'n, where he sat in full glee ...". Not quite as inspiring!

Apr. 17 2010 10:04 AM
Genevieve Mager from Verona, NJ

Recycled or not, you cannot consider music for Earth Day without including Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring!

Apr. 17 2010 09:56 AM
nancy sciales from Flushing, N.Y.

My husband thinks that the radio program of the Green Hornet used TheFlight of the Bumblebee as its theme..

Apr. 17 2010 09:54 AM
bernard selby from howard beach

From the 40s radio " The FBI in Pease and War" theme music was from " Love for Three Oranges", 50s tv horror " The Inner sanctum" Prokofiev's vault scene "Romeo and Juliet", today tv " Wings of the Luftwaffe" Beethoven's "second movement pathetique piano sonata".

Apr. 17 2010 09:54 AM

Beethoven's piano sonata #8 became "Misty Blue" about 20 years ago. Bizet's Farandole became "Bizet Has His Day" by Gene Krupa's band 60 years ago. About the same time, Krupa recorded "The Galloping Comedians" based on Kabelevsky's "The Comedians". In the Norton Lectures "The Unanswered Question" Leonard Bernstein showed where Wagner took Berlioz's "Romeo & Juliet" and converted it into "Tristan und Isolde". And, of course, PDQ Bach is still recycling the old masters.

Apr. 17 2010 09:53 AM
John Flory from Morristown, NJ

How about a composer who recycles his own music. There are many exampled of that.
I nominate George Gershwin's "Variations on 'I Got Rhythm'".
And that is a variation of the common recycling of classical music into popular music (which many other listeners have posted). It is recycling popular music, "I Got Rhythm" from the musical Girl Crazy, into a piece of classical music.
One of the wonders of recycling music is that not only do your have other music, but you also still have the original. Can't do that when you recycle newspapers!

Apr. 17 2010 09:50 AM
Lindsay from NJ

The song "They" by Jem uses samples of JS Bach's Prelude in F minor as performed by the Swingle Singers.

The musical Kismet uses the music of Alexander Borodin. Most notably the love ballad "Stranger in Paradise" is the ""Polovtsian Dances" from Prince Igor.

There is also a 1976 musical by Ken Hill called Phantom of the Opera (pre-dating the famed Andrew Lloyd Webber musical) that, like Kismet, re-imagines arias, duet, etc. including: Rusalka's "Song to the Moon" and "Je crois entendre encore" from Bizet's Les pêcheurs de perles.

Apr. 17 2010 09:50 AM
Ruth Ciser from Mahwah, NJ

This is fun - how about Sobre las Olas (Over the Waves) by Juventino Rosas, which became "The Loveliest Night of the Year" in “The Great Caruso” with Mario Lanza? (I seem to recall a "Merry-Go-Round Waltz" with the same melody but can't find any documentation for that.)

Now I really have to stop this and get to my Saturday chores - thanks for a delightful diversion.

Apr. 17 2010 09:46 AM
Victor from Brooklyn

Has anyone mentioned the "Dona Diana Overture" used by Seargent Preston of the Yukon?

Apr. 17 2010 09:35 AM
Joe R from NYC

Somebody made a comment on Bernstein's "Somewhere" from West Side Story. Some people also claim that they can hear the first few notes of that song in the screetch of the new NYC subway cars as they leave a station. Not kidding!

Apr. 17 2010 09:34 AM
Judith M. Dent from Manhattan

In the late 1950's a musical show called 'Summer Song' was based completely on Dvorak's New World Symphony. It was not a hit, but the music, "in my opinion", to quote Jonathan Schwartz, was beautiful.

Apr. 17 2010 09:32 AM
Barbara Sontz from New York, New York

Hatikvah (The Hope), Israel's national anthem was adapted in the early 20th century by an emigre from Moldava, Samuel Cohen. He got the tune from the Moldau section of Smetana's Ma Vlasta. Smetna, in turn, is said to have picked up the melody from a 17th century Italian song. Others say that the origin is Scandinavian.

Apr. 17 2010 09:29 AM
Ruth Ciser from Mahwah, NJ

...and one more -
The old advertising jingle - "My beer is Rheingold, the dry beer...." was based on Estudiantina, Op. 191 (The Students' Wa;tz) by Emil Waldteufel.

Apr. 17 2010 09:23 AM
Robert Warshawsky

Berlioz sym fan 5th mov. for the intro to the movie The Shinning. Also Roman Car Ov for dog meat commerical. Copland Rodeo theme for dog meat commerical. Boccherini and Mozart for the movie Master and Commander.

Apr. 17 2010 09:23 AM
Newton from Brooklyn

My absolute favorite bit of musical recycling was perpetrated by Christoph Willibald Gluck. His "Dance of the Blessed Spirits" uses music used by Bach. ( To the best of my knowledge, Bach used a folk tune in Aria 5 of his cantata, BWV 208, "Sheep may safely graze." )...

How's that for recycling?

Apr. 17 2010 09:22 AM
Paul Rosen from Manhattan

Liszt's Les Preludes was used as a theme for the 1930's movie serial Flash Gordon with Buster Crab (sic). This serial was itself recycled for the early years on television

Apr. 17 2010 09:17 AM
Victor from Brooklyn

John Williams clearly took the "Superman" love theme from "Death and Transfiguration."

Apr. 17 2010 09:17 AM
Diane from NYC

Gounod's Ave Maria is "adapted to" JS Bach's Prelude #1 from Well-Tempered Clavier. He credits it, though, so that might change its status as recycled music.

Apr. 17 2010 09:15 AM
David from Falmouth, MA

Did Lenny B. borrow the melody in the song "There's a place for us" in West Side Story from the second movement of Beethoven's 5th piano concerto

Apr. 17 2010 09:06 AM
joe barbone

Rossini's William Tell Overture was used for the TV show, The Lone Ranger.

Apr. 17 2010 09:00 AM
Mark Sherer from Ithaca, NY

I don't know if you are familiar with the work of the great 20th c. musicologist William Malloch, whose groundbreaking research on original tempi had a huge impact on the authentic performance movement... he did an orchestration of Bach's Art of the Fugue, called "The Art of Fuguing." One of the movements consisted of a performed analysis of the AoF's impact on subsequent compositions, up to Brahms and beyond. It's fun to listen to (there's a recording floating around, conducted by Lukas Foss), amazingly researched and constructed.

Apr. 17 2010 08:50 AM
Florence Eichin from Brooklyn, NY

Emmanuel Chabrier's 1883 composition, España is the melody for Perry Como's "Hot Diggity, Dog Diggity".

Apr. 17 2010 08:47 AM

Mark thanks for the suggestions!

Paul Simon's 'American Tune" is based on a melody line from Bach's chorale from "St. Matthew Passion," however it is itself a reworking of an earlier secular song, composed by Hans Hassler.

Satirist John Forrest recycled all of the above making fun of Paul Simon in his song "Fusion".

Apr. 17 2010 08:28 AM
Ruth Ciser from Mahwah, NJ

As for composers recycling their own music, it seems that almost every composition I’ve heard by Offenbach includes somewhere the famous can-can melody. And of course Shop-Rite has used that music for years to advertise their periodic sales of canned goods. (My daughter – a long-time S-R employee currently has that tune as her cellphone ringtone!)

And in the wonderful movie, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Mr. Holland points out the origin of the Toys; “Lovers Concerto” to one of his students. Although the script may have been erroneous in attributing a Christian Petzold composition to J.S. Bach, this is still another example of 20th century recycling of an earlier classical piece.

Apr. 17 2010 08:27 AM

Yes Joseph, "Hello Mudder" is set to the tune of Ponchielli's "Dance of the Hours". Good one!

Apr. 17 2010 08:20 AM
Mark Sherer from Ithaca, NY

Chopin recycled Bellini (Etude Op 10 #3 is based on a tune from Norma .... right?), and Schubert recycled himself quite a bit -- which stands to reason, given how much output he had to cram into 31 years. He also recycled Beethoven's Ode to Joy theme in a snippet in the last movement of the Great C major Symphony -- an homage, I think you'd say. In the Pop Music department, note Paul Simon's American Tune, which has that part of a Bach mass as its understructure -- I can't remember which one.

Apr. 17 2010 08:09 AM
Joseph Tomaino from Earth Day Blog

Earth Day Recycles:

1. State of Maryland Song, "Maryland, Oh Maryland" based on Oh Tannnenbaum.
2. Camp Granada ie "Hello mother, hello father..." based on: ???? (can't think of it!!!).

-Joseph & Tanya Tomaino, Allenhurst, NJ

Apr. 17 2010 08:09 AM
paull araki from nyc

'i'm always chasing rainbows' was a chopin piece. barry manilow also recycled from beethoven.

Apr. 17 2010 07:59 AM

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