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Don't hesitate to point out to me other free adaptions, even very free, of the music of Beethoven for the modern needs… Thank you!
TitleBeethoven and the Beatles

The Beatles singing Beethoven? Yes… that is to say, not completely.
It was listening to Yoko playing the Moonlight sonata, that John Lennon had the idea of inverting the theme and using the result as music for the song "Because".

The melody which we hear on the CD is very obviously inspired by the theme of the famous sonata.

The opportunity, of the need arises, to not forget this CD of the Beatles in your collection…

Beethoven and the Beatles
Abbey Road - Emi - 1969
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TitleRock Opera: Beethoven's Last Night
Astonishig! A rock opera which tells of a classical composer. All about Beethoven's last night.
Beethoven's Last Night on cd
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Lava / Atlantic - 2000

The story is charming. On the night of the storm preceding the death of the composer, Satan appears and proposes to exchange Beethoven's music for his soul. He would do away with all human memory of Beethoven's music, and in return the composer would be guaranteed entry into paradise.

Beethoven is torn. He asks himself what he's done in his life to deserve going to hell, and thereby unravels his story for us, sharing his joys and his sadness.

He concludes that his music is his life, and therefore refuses to give it up to the devil. Satan therefore proposes to take only the 10th symphony which Beethoven has just finished.

You will hear what happens when you listen to the CD.

The music is well-written, with rock variations and interpretations on Beethoven's work and that of other classical composers. Sometimes surprising, but always interesting.

Its name gives away nothing, but the Trans-Siberian Orchestra is in fact based at New York....

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TitleWhitney Houston on a melody by Beethoven

On the theme of 'Für Elise', Whitney Houston performs 'Same Script, Different Cast', in a duet with Deborah Cox.

An extremely agreeable and appealing song, that can be heard on her album 'Greatest Hits'.


Available with several different visuals.

Beethoven and Whitney Houston
Greatest Hits
BMG Arista - 2000
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TitleLéo Ferré sings and conducts Ludwig van Beethoven
Beethoven and Ferré
Léo ferré - Je te donne
La mémoire et la mer - 2000

This splendid re-edition of the album "Je te donne" ("I give to you") (1976) of Léo Ferré contains two treasures representative of the admiration that Léo Ferré has for Ludwig van Beethoven:

- "Muss es sein, es muss sein", song on music evoking Beethoven, and recalls through the title the famous annotation of Beethoven;

- "The overture of Coriolan", performed by the Milan Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Léo Ferré.

A must…

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The disc "Ludwig - the imaginary - the boat" contains the heading "Ludwig", text narrated by Léo Ferré over the overture to Egmont.

Originally, an editor commissioned a song from Léo Ferré which would be connected with the German composer, concerning a project of a preface for a re-edition of the personal notebooks of Ludwig van Beethoven.

If the project does not come to fruition, we will always have the song where Léo Ferré evokes the memories of childhood…

Ludwig and Léo
Léo Ferré
Ludwig - L'imaginaire - Le bateau
La mémoire et la mer - 2000
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TitleSwingle Singers: the voice of the romantics
Beethoven and the Swingle Singers
Philips - 1967

The Swingle Singers, in their album "Les Romantiques" (The Romantics), offer us eleven a capella (unaccompanied) interpretations of romantic composers: you have understood correctly: it is with the voice that these virtuosos perform for us Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Schubert etc.

The eight singers, of which seven are French, are led by Ward Swingle, who realised the adaptations of the classical works.

The two first pieces are arrangements of works by Ludwig van Beethoven:

  • the Scherzo of the sonata for violin and piano no. 5 in F major, opus 24, "Spring";
  • the Allegro of the sonata for piano no. 12 in A flat major, opus 26.

A remarkable and unexpected adaptation!

Available with several different visuals.

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TitleJohnny Halliday: Poem on the 7th

The meeting of a French rock star with the great German classical composer, we discover an unexpected song: "Poem on the 7th"…

Johnny Halliday sings the words of Phillipe Labro to the music of Ludwig van Beethoven, in his album "Vie" (Life), which is dated 1970.

A curisoity, assuredly…

Beethoven and Johnny
Philips - 1970
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TitleDave sings on the great classics
Beethoven and Dave
Odeon Records - 1998

Few variety singers venture into the classics. Dave, in his album "Classique" ("Classic") sings on eleven airs known to classical music.

Ludwig van Beethoven is twice honoured:

  • "Quel que soit le coin de terre" is performed to the tune of the "Ode to Joy";

  • "Ils s'en vont" on the sonata for piano opus 8, the "Pathetique".

The other performances are also very successful (Dvorak, Schubert, Wagner, Bach…) The text is by P. Loiseau.

TitleArielle Dombasle revisits the classics

The magical voice of Arielle Dombasle on the music of Beethoven? Yes, that is on her album "Extase" ("Ecstasy").

The song "Giovane Amore", with Italian text on poverty to make you weep, is performed in a new way on a modernised Seventh Symphony of Beethoven.

But the beautiful soprano possesses a voice which will penetrate to the bottom of your spirit…

Beethoven and Arielle Dombasle
Trema - 2002
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TitleJosé Carreras: Passion
Beethoven and José Carreras
Erato - 1996

José Carreras revives to sing on the famous themes of classical music. Twice he has realised his project. The first of the two CDs is called "Passion".

It is on this CD that the song "I remember You" is performed to the second movement of the sonata for piano no. 8, the "Pathetique".

The singing theme of this movement lends itself particularly well to this exercise, and the great tenor does justice to the music of Beethoven…

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TitleNorma Ray on the Seventh Symphony

Norma Ray treats the second movement of Beethoven's seventh symphony with much more tenderness than the great French rocker Johnny Halliday..

Her text recalls to mankind the necessity of living in piece and harmony, to the image of a symphony of Beethoven.

This song does justice to the music of the composer, and the song accompanies the music with talent. The song "Symphony" can be found on the album "Stardust" (Poussière d'Étoiles).

Beethoven and Norma Ray
M6 Interactions
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TitleNas and the letter for Elise, make rap
Beethoven and Nas
Columbia - 2002

Nasir Jones aka Nas sings on the Letter to Elise…

Uniquely with a beat and the right hand of the famous melody played on piano, Nas sings about the caprices of success and avoiding the pitfalls of drugs and rapid success.

A children's choir begins the refrain: "I know, I can be what I wanna be…".

"I can" is a song on the album "God's Son".

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TitleDario Moreno songs on the theme of the Letter for Elise

It has taken sometime for me to realies that the song "Tout l'amour" (All love which I have for you…), sung by Dario Moreno and reused for an ad in France, uses the theme of "Letter to Elise".


Beethoven and Dario Mereno
Philips - 1994
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TitleChoirs on the music of Beethoven
Beethoven and the New London Chorale
RCA - 1990

"The Young Beethoven" is the unexpected title of this CD. The New London Chorale sings 13 airs of Ludwig van Beethoven, arranged by Tom Parker, amongst which are:

- the sonatas for piano "Clair de Lune" and "Pathetique" ;
- the symphonies nos. 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 and the Ode to Joy;
- the Kreutzer Sonata for violin
- the concertos for violin, etc.

Some airs are magnificent and I have a particular weakness for the concerto or violin. A CD to seek.

TitleNana Mouskouri also sings Beethoven
Beethoven and Nana Mouskouri
Philips - 2002

The disk "Ode to Joy" of Nana Mouskouri contains a collection of about twenty song titles on classical music.

Amongst the number of free adaptations there are two works by Beethoven:

  • "Claire de Lune", song in French in the Sonata for Piano no. 27, of course;
  • "Come and Sing (Ode to Joy)", song in English and German on the hymn to joy.

Neither the composer nor the singer are elevated by this realisation. Keep for enthusiasts of one and fans of the other.

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TitleSarah Brightman and the Seventh Symphony

With her beautiful voice, Sarah Brightman gives us a sung variation of the second movement of the Seventh Symphony of Beethoven.

'Figlio Perduto' (Lost Son) is the name of this song. The words are by Chiara Ferraù, with the music of Beethoven adapted by Soltau.

Several of the singers' albums contain this title, such as 'La Luna' and 'Greatest Hits'.

Beethoven and Sarah Brightman
East West Germany - 2000
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TitleWest Side Story and Beethoven
Beethoven and West Side Story
Sony - 1992

What a relationship between West Side Story and Beethoven. Attention everyone. Except...that one of the songs is drawn from the second movement of the fifth concerto for piano and orchestra by Beethoven.

The song, which is called “Somewhere (there is a place for us)”, is a very beautiful and tender duo between Maria and Tony.
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Many thanks to Melanie PIDDOCKE for her translation of this page from French into English
© Dominique PREVOT
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