The Phono Project

Exploring the history of the groove

“swan lake” by skitch henderson and his orchestra

Crackling over crisp trumpet fanfare gives way to a mellow piano rendition of Tchaikovsky’s classic Swan Lake melody. Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake is one of the greatest ballet scores ever written. It tells the tragic love story between a beautiful maiden, cursed to appear as a swan during the day, and the prince who falls in love with her. This rendition by Skitch Henderson is a beautiful blend of classical and jazz. Henderson was an American pianist, conductor and composer and he studied both jazz and classical music. As a pianist he enjoyed mixing the two genres, which is evident in his swing-heavy revamp of Swan Lake. His take on Swan Lake speaks to the transformative nature of music—with classic pieces being reworked time and time again—always changing, but still carrying the history of the great composers that came before.

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