Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Fun: Acapella Nutcracker

This video by the acapella sensation Pentatonix has been out in cyberspace for a few days now, but I think it deserves a lot more attention. Pentatonix has now covered Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy," bringing pop acapella into the world of classical music. Has this been done before? If so, let me know of some examples. The Nutcracker's "Russian Dance" was one of my favorite pieces as a kid (I played it on the piano for a recital in 4th grade), so I listened to a decent amount of Tchaikovsky. Pentatonix's arrangement and execution seems to nail the chromaticisms, modulations and complex chords of the barely-tonal piece Tchaikovsky intended. On top of tackling this work, Pentatonix creatively added some vocal percussion and, I think, made a slight homage to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" music video. Enjoy!