REMIX WEEK! Throwback Thursday: “Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85, Adagio Moderato,” Edward Elgar Meets Venetian Snares

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I have listened to this Elgar cello concerto hundreds of times.  I bought a cheapo bargain basement recording during one of the many trips my parents and I took to visit colleges.  Years later, I bought this Venetian Snares album.  It took me another year to put the two together: the beginning of “Szamar Madar” is so demented, I always skipped over it.  One morning, while on the train to work, I listened to the entire thing and finally got to main meat of the piece and thought, “…wait…I know that line…  …Holy $%&! that’s Elgar?!?”  I was practically effervescent, I was so excited.

To save you the hassle, here’s a cheat sheet.  The cello line arrives in earnest around 1:47; before that there’s only snippets.  At 2:14: fasten your seatbelt.  Venetian Snares takes a beautiful and somber Elgar cello concerto, adds cocaine, and puts it in a blender.  My favorite part is at 2:54 when it smoothes out on top while the drums go bananas beneath.  And after all that, it just sort of slowly fades away, like a bruise, and you’re left wondering what just happened.  You have to love a band who hears Elgar and says, “yeah, that’s pretty…but what if we sampled the main cello lick, sped it up, and added a breakbeat beneath it?”  I just can’t get enough.

Original Elgar, played by Yo-Yo Ma:

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