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Farmer, Cline, & Campbell

Classically Speaking

Classical music in West Virginia and Beyond

Listening to the Commercials

(Commentary, Just for Fun) Permanent link

by Mona Seghatoleslami

Yo-Yo Ma Cello SuitesSuper Bowl XLIII logoYo-Yo Ma played cello for the inauguration, but he and JS Bach didn’t manage to make the cut for this year’s Super Bowl. 

Ma’s recording Bach’s Cello Suites was supposed to be used for a Hyundai commercial, but it was passed over in favor of the Smashing Pumpkins (the Bach commercial is now slated to aired during the Academy Awards).  

But all was not lost for classical music being heard during the "big game" this year.  I've collected what I heard in this little list (with links to the videos).

Some adorable critters made off with a bottle of Coke to strains of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf



When depicting a plush office, Monster had their executive listening to a snippet of Vincenzo Bellini’s opera Norma



Sobe turned to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake for their rather odd “Lizard Lake” commercial. 


The NFL’s inspiring ad featuring Usama Young of the New Orleans Saints drew on two classical sources.  They used Edvard Grieg’s “Morning” from Peer Gynt (a staple in many cartoons), as well as the Habanera from George Bizet’s Carmen (this same aria was used last year to advertise Doritos)

Bizet also figured into the Super Bowl landscape before the game.  As I read over on the the WV Symphony Orchestra blog, music students at Carnegie Mellon University sang their love for the Steelers to the tune of the Toreador song.  

There were also two other commercials with tangential classical connections.  This first one is pretty distant, but I noticed that Cars.com’s precocious David Abernathy performs heart surgery in a “crowded opera house.”  


And New York Philharmonic broadcast announcer Alec Baldwin was on too, but he was talking about Hulu instead of Brahms last night. 

That’s what I heard…did anything else catch your ears? 

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