I’ve been a long time fan of this particular piece of music by composer Franz Liszt – and just out of the blue I looked it up today – on YouTube. Turns out, that I’m not the only one who can’t get the tune out of his head. Several hollywood productions, games and what not have adopted the piece to their background score and I (as usual) couldn’t resist posting the videos.
The Cat Concerto
Probably the most well known adaptation is “The Cat Concerto”, the 29th Tom and Jerry short that was released in April 1947, by MGM. This is where I first heard the tune as well and is one of my favorite Tom and Jerry cartoons. The execution and the intermingling of cartoon with real music score has the undeniable finesse and touch of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera that so enchants every one.
This is a Bugs Bunny cartoon that caused some controversy when it was released by Warner Bros. in the same year as the Tom and Jerry one. Both MGM and Warner Bros. accused each other of plagiarism, after all both shorts have the same overall theme and the same musical score. I love this one too.
Daffy Duck Rhapsody
These two videos are user contributed, they are not real cartoons by studios but instead user compilations based on hundreds of clips of different cartoons. That doesn’t detract from the fact that they’re based upon the same music piece, and have a hilarious daffy duck singing in them. I was enjoying laughing out loud on both of these, I really love Daffy. The second video, at it’s end lists all the Daffy Duck cartoons that it was compiled from.
The one, featuring Woody Woodpecker has him playing a Piano Tuner, who gets accosted by a bank robber who forces him to play the Piano, “Or Else!”. Not so funny, and at moments downright irritating. But it’s meant for kids and I suppose it was good in it’s time.
The Opry House
This is the one that started it all. This short clip of one of the earliest Mickey Mouse cartoons called “The Opry House” features a black and white Mickey banging Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 away on a piano (ok, I know it sounds nothing like the above, but it is, trust me). This is typical of the early Disney animation – there are no rules. Everything is a cartoon. The stools, and yes, even the piano can get up and whack Mickey around. I really never liked these, I find the tobacco spitting MickeyMouse portrayed in these to be ugly, almost grotesque and definitely not funny or even appealing in any way. But I had to include it in the list – history is history, Walt Disney pretty much started the whole cartoon thing.
Other Related Videos
Several other videos came up that were related. Maksim Mrvica does a version. Then there’s a really funny one by Victor Borge that you could watch as well.
Another favored Liszt tune, La Campanella also has a few renditions, this is the one I liked the most.
What about you?
Which one of these do you like the most? I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts about this one, haven’t been able to get this tune out of my head for years and years, now.