Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Classics on TV - Edvard Grieg

Occasionally, classical music is used for TV commercials, TV shows, or movies. When I happen to hear a classical piece used in popular media, I will let you know.
Most recently, a commercial for Perrier water grabbed my attention. The music was immediately familiar....I could hum along with it. I knew it was "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Edvard Grieg (1843-1907). This is taken from Grieg's very famous work, Peer Gynt Suite, composed in 1875. Check out the commercial:

This spot was created by the firm Ogilvy & Mather in Paris, France. Lots of CGI, colors, and moving elements for sure. The creative team certainly could have scored new music for this spot, or picked something contemporary. But instead they went with a piece of music that is 140 years old. I think it works well.
It's also possible, though probably not very likely, that Grieg himself could have enjoyed a bottle of Perrier. He toured extensively during his life and traveled to France in 1903 to perform and make a recording of his piano music at a recording studio in Paris. Perrier was first bottled and sold in France in 1898. Maybe, just maybe, he tasted the same drink that 140 years later uses his music to advertise it.
Edvard Grieg

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