One scene from The Green Hornet which blew me away was when Kato serenaded Lenore with Un Sospiro, an etude of unbelievable beauty by Franz Liszt. It was totally unexpected in a movie of this genre and made me curious enough about this Jay Chou guy, who up until then was just 'some Taiwanese pop star', but that curiousity has since transformed into full-blown mania, which explains the existence of this blog. ;)
Apart from Chopin, whom I discussed in the previous post [http://jaychoudiaoness.blogspot.sg/2012/10/jay-loves-chopin.html], there are a few other composers Jay loves to improvise on like the aforementioned Liszt, Mozart and Tchaikovsky.
I have posted some of the following vids in other posts about Jay's creativity and improvisatory prowess [http://jaychoudiaoness.blogspot.sg/2012/06/chou-style-create-and-improvise.html] and others.
But they bear reposting to illustrate my points here.
Let's go back to Liszt for now, for which this is a clip from a Taiwanese programme where Jay mashed up Chopin and Liszt with a modern twist. He first plays Chopin's famous Waltz in C-sharp minor (used in Secret) and followed by Liszt's Un Sospiro (used in The Green Hornet)...lovely!
Mozart's Turkish March is an extremely popular piece of music and one which Jay loves to improvise on for many performances on stage and more recently, he put it into one of the songs on his latest album.
Another piece he loves is Flight Of The Bumble Bee (by Rimsky-Korsakoff).
Here are some occasions where he has done so:
On Mr J Channel, where he injects a Chopin-like feel to it, and ends off with a dramatic flourish of chords...lol!
From the ASUS Incredible J promotional event...his piano part is from 2:00 to 3:15:
Here with Yuhao who starts off with Chopin's Fantasie-Impromptu and Jay comes in with his part and some music from Secret, Super Mario and then Mozart's Turkish March (again!), and a Chinese tune, followed by Flight Of The Bumble Bee...awesome!!
And the latest use of the Turkish March was in Piano Hurt aka Qin Shang 琴伤, from his latest album, Exclamation Mark, where he started off with Tchaikovsky's Bacarolle and inserted the Mozart in the middle...the MV is very good too!
Most fans appreciated his usage of such classical pieces in his own compositions but I also know of quite a few who felt that he should not have to resort to doing so as he is a talented enough composer in his own right and I agree that he is, indeed.
However, I also feel that this improvising of his is just another way for him to have fun with his music and also perhaps to open his fans' minds to more classics like when he invited Li Yundi to be his guest at one of his world tour concerts in 2007. Anyway, improvising is also composing and to me, it may be even more difficult as one has to come up with a tune which is distinct yet connected to the original in a way.
Here are some of the pieces mentioned in their original entirety:
Liszt's Un Sospiro:
Rimsky-Korsakoff's Flight Of The Bumblebee:
Chopin's Fantasie-Impromptu in C-sharp minor:
And of course, Mozart's Turkish March...where you'll notice Jay has a tendency to play it really fast and maniacally unlike this version here: