Name that classical tune from a Jethro Tull song (not Boureé this time)
May 6, 2021 11:36 AM   Subscribe

There's a Jethro Tull song out there that includes a piano theme based on / lifted from a well-known piano concerto. Can you remember it?

I've found it in the past, but I can't find either song right now. It's pretty hard-driving, not a light and airy piece.

I apologize that I can't provide a sample like mmoncur did in this earlier ask, best I can do is to try to write out the part that's stuck in my head: da-da-da-da-da-DUM-DUM, da-da-da-da-da-DUM-DUM. Sorry.

Does this ring any bells for you? Help!
posted by mmc to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Locomotive Breath?
posted by Billiken at 11:54 AM on May 6, 2021

According to Wikipedia, the Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 by Grieg is used in Thick as a Brick.
posted by FencingGal at 11:55 AM on May 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

Locomotive Breath?

I think that's just a sort of bluesy improvised cadenza
posted by thelonius at 12:09 PM on May 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

Jumping off of what FencingGal said, "da-da-da-da-da-DUM-DUM" does make me think of the bit in Thick as a Brick with "See! There a son is born, and they pronounce him fit for peace. ..." Does that ring any bells for you?

(I guess I should read the article now)
posted by inexorably_forward at 2:58 PM on May 6, 2021

Response by poster: Yeah it's not the part at the beginning of Locomotive Breath, and I just listened to the Grieg Concerto, which is great, but also not it…
posted by mmc at 3:02 PM on May 6, 2021

(And having done so, it's not gelling with da-da-da-da-da-DUM-DUM. Hmmmm...)
posted by inexorably_forward at 3:02 PM on May 6, 2021

I can't see anything relevant on the Wikipedia page for some reason, but per this page a short section of the Grieg Concerto 2nd movement was used in Thick as a Brick but only for the 1972 live tour version. I haven't managed to locate the segment within a 1972 tour recording (there is a 1:44 recording of the full Stoke-on-Trent performance here if anyone wants to try). But altogether it doesn't sound like a really good match.
posted by flug at 4:40 PM on May 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

Ian Anderson played an arrangement of Mozart (with full orchestra) that is interesting, but probably not what you're looking for.

What very well may be exactly what you're looking for is the Jethro Tull arrangement of Beethoven's Ninth. It isn't a piano concerto, but a famous classical work and the arrangement is pretty hard-driving and maybe has the rhythm you remember.
posted by flug at 4:58 PM on May 6, 2021

Not familiar with the musician but put a youtube compilation in the background while I did my chores this morning to see if anything stood out to me, but nothing did.

The only thing that seemed like it could be close (within the songs that I heard) was maybe their cover of the Bach double violin concerto? There's a sequence in there that seemed like it could fit your description.
posted by womb of things to be and tomb of things that were at 5:01 PM on May 6, 2021

Best answer: I found this, which might point you in the right direction. Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 13 is definitely not light or airy and it fits your description.
posted by bkpiano at 7:56 PM on May 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you bkpiano! That was it, the beginning of Tull’s “By Kind Permission Of” included parts of Beethoven’s piano sonata no. 8 in C Minor op 13, “Pathétique”.

The specific part I was trying to write out starts at about 1:45 of this version on YouTube
posted by mmc at 10:34 PM on May 6, 2021

I've been following this, glad we got an answer! Eventually we'll have the definitive resource for classical excerpts appearing in Jethro Tull songs...
posted by mmoncur at 9:24 PM on May 24, 2021

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