The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Here is a stirring version of “La Marseillaise” to mark Bastille Day and the French Revolution

July 14, 2016
1 Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

Today is Bastille Day in France – July 14th or “Le quatorze juillet” — celebrating the beginning of the French Revolution when the public stormed and liberated the infamous Bastille prison in Paris.

To mark it, here is a YouTube video of a stirring version of the French national anthem, “La Marseillaise.” It features the superstar opera tenor Roberto Alagna singing the arrangement done by the French Romantic composer Hector Berlioz.

And it is also a good time to recall how the French helped finance and wage the American Revolution, also known as the American War for Independence.

Classical music quiz: Which classical composer “flies” on Air France? Can you tell. Here’s another short chapter in “Can Advertising Help Save Classical Music.”

November 25, 2012

By Jacob Stockinger

Just a quickie today.

I was watching TV the other night and saw this eye-catching and ear-catching commercial for Air France.

It features a male and a female ballet dancer doing some, shall we say, airborne swings and moves that are so graceful, as lovely and balanced as the music. Plus, it is very understated with no pushy words. Very classy — both elegant and sensual. So also very French.

And the music sounded so familiar.

It took me a couple of seconds to pin it down. But I finally did.

Can you?

First listen to the ad. Here it is:

Did you get it?

It is the middle movement to Mozart’s sublime Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488.

And here is a link to another posting I did about classical music that is used in advertising, including Ravel‘s String Quartet in an ad for

I have also seen some similar classic music-theme ads for cars (a Mozart piano sonata)  and others.

Can you name some ads and classical music excerpts that I haven’t seen or listed?

The Ear wants to hear.

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