What is this classical music?

Three minutes into this Marcel Marceau video.

Moving to Cafe Society.

General Questions Moderator

Air on the G String

by JS Bach.

And not to be confused with Hair on the G String. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thank you. That allowed me to find a wonderful video on youtube of Sarah Chang playing it.

Aaaaargggggh! Garçon! One brain bleach, straight up, no ice! Make it a double. Tout suite!

It’s the Air (second movement) from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068, sometimes erroneously known as “Air on the G-string” because of a popular arrangement for violin and piano which came to be called that. The excerpt on the recording is (more or less) the original Air.

Ah, “music to drop people into shark tanks by”…

For me, it will always be associated with the Hamlet commercials.

Face it. This may be accurate, but it’s too late. “Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major” just doesn’t trip off the tongue like “Air on the G String”. Bach should have come up with a better name than all those boring descriptors.

To be fair, “Air on the G-string” sounds more like stripper music, so you can understand why classical music fans stick to the longer name. Well, that and the original piece had to be transposed and then shifted an octave to be able to play it all on the g-string, so it’s really the arrangement by August Wilhelmj which gets the catchy name, and the original is stuck with “The second movement from Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major”.


Could be worse, could be Murder on a G string:smiley:
yes I know that it is shown as lady of burlesque, but the original novel is the g string murders, written by Gypsy Rose Lee. A copy can be found online at the internet archives

The Bach is amazing but all of the people talking about what a true artist this Mime is are cracking me up.

That they diss Jim Carrey is funny, I bet Jim Carrey could pantomime this precisely.

I’d be willing to bet Bach thought of it as “the thing I’m writing for next Sunday.”

Only, you know, auf Deutsch.


Marcel Marceau was the acknowledged master of miming. His ability to pantomime an activity was unparalled; Jim Carrey wouldn’t know where to begin.

I would be willing to bet that Jim Carrey could do that video too. All it requires is the ability to make big exaggerated emotional faces. Which he can do, and make big exaggerated dance steps, which he can do. The only thing that recommends that talent is Marceau’s timing and his ability to manipulate his face. The make-up exaggerates it.

It’s much harder to act subtley than it is to act flamboyantly.

Right . . . but on modern instruments, and with vibrato.

Exactly. And without much in the way of continuo (no keyboard of any kind). Should at least have a harpsichord.

Also that performance in the OP’s link is far too bland and smooth, totally under inflected. Sad, really.

I’m with Lord Vetinari on this one

invisible box my arse!