Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Worst Performances of Holiday Favorites Ever on the Internet

By John King

I’d like to share an annual tradition I’ve started of listening to the following selections every year around the holiday season.  I hope you’ll agree that they are the worst versions of these pieces that you have ever heard.

“Handel’s Messiah” (“Hallelujah Chorus”)
Some mistakes can go unnoticed, but not in this case when an organist goofs at the end of this unidentified performance of the “Hallelujah Chorus”.  Theories about what happened include: (1) the organist pulled out the transposition stop instead of the biggest-sound-I-can get stop; and (2) the organist put his hands down on the keyboard without looking.  After being off-key for three chords, the organist finally resolves the last chord.  Listen for the awkward pause in the audience before applause.

O Holy Night”
I’m sure you’ll agree that this is by far the worst rendition of “O Holy Night” that you’ve ever heard.  What makes this version so hilarious is that the singer apparently believes that he is good.  Listen for the second half of the song when he changes octaves as the song reaches its climax, and he attempts a high G natural.

“Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”
This is a laugh-out-loud version of the Nutcracker favorite.  The band apparently decided to not tune to the celeste, resulting unfortunately in the ensemble being wildly out of tune compared to the celeste’s melody.  This recording is played either by competent musicians doing a parody or by individuals who had only recently started playing their instruments.

See also:
Flashback:  Chris Clark performs Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Dec. 2008 view >
Audio and video of Fall, 2011 performances listen & view >