“I have always been haunted by the theme of the Allegretto from Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony since I first began to play music,” says pianist Jacques Loussier. That’s funny, because I’ve always been haunted by that Eminem sample on his robust hit “Kill You” that sounds suspiciously like JL’s “Pulsion” ever since I started playing music.
Hey, wadda ya know! That is Loussier’s beat behind “Kill You”! And he’s suing ol’ Em! (For more on this story, and to compare the beats, check this out.)
While Loussier might not like others to straight up appropriate his work, he doesn’t seem to mind some reinterpretation. The French pianist has made a career out of making classical classics swing, including works by Bach, Vivaldi, Debussy, Ravel and Satie. But never before on CD had he taken on the man, the legend that is Ludwig van Beethoven.
On October 28, Telarc will release Allegretto, which features Loussier’s trio navigating the themes and variations of this specific movement from Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. Allegretto follows 2001’s Baroque Favorites (Telarc), which featured swinging remakes of Handel, Scarlatti, Pachelbel and other Baroque-period composers.
The 68-year-old Loussier came upon his career-changing epiphany in 1959, by combining jazz with J.S. Bach. His Play Bach Trio used J.S.’s compositions as the basis for jazz improvisation, and over the next 15 years the group sold more than six million albums.