The Skaters Waltz

As Fred Child pointed out Friday on Performance Today, while the classical music chosen for many of the Olympic ice skaters was wonderful, the music got so chopped up it almost loses its meaning.

It’s hard to fit a 45-minute symphony into a 4 ½ minute program, but for me the skaters that used bona-fide classical music in their presentations really made an artistic statement – and I think it just might have given them the edge they needed to win.

I already wrote about Evan Lysacek skating to Stravinsky’s Firebird, and then he went on to win gold with selections from Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade.” Yu-Na Kim pulled off the highest score ever and dazzled us with the dazzling “Concerto in F” by Gershwin. The Canadian Ice Dancing pair skated to one of the most profound works in ALL classical music, Mahler’s “Adagietto” from his fifth Symphony.

Anne Midgette of the Washington Post has a lot to say on the matter. How do you feel?

I’ve listed the medal-winners below who used classical music and what those pieces were:


Gold: Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo of China used Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor in the free Skate

Silver: Pang Qing and Tong Jian skated to “The Impossible Dream” but then used Bizet in the short program, ‘Je crois entendre encore’ from “The Pearl Fishers”

Bronze: Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany started off with Stephen Sondheim and ended with film music by John Barry from “Out of Africa.”


Gold: Evan Lysacek blew me away skating to Stravinsky’s ‘Firebird’ and Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘Scheherazade’

Silver: Evgeni Plushenko skated to the slow movement from Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” in his first place short program.

Bronze: Couldn’t keep my eyes off Takahashi Daisuke skating to ‘La Strada’ by Nino Rota in the free skate.

Ice Dancing:

Gold: Canada’s Tess Virtue and Scott Moir were so elegant in a flamenco dance played by Pepe Romero but brought us to tears with Mahler’s’ Adagietto’ from the Fifth Symphony.

Silver: Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States used selections from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera” for the free skate.


Gold: Kim Yu-Na of Korea started out with music from James Bond, but then classed up with a Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F for her free skate.

Silver: Japan’s Mao Asada skated her short program to selections from Khachaturian’s “Masquerade” and later Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in c#, also known as “The Bells of Moscow”.

Bronze: Joannie Rochette of Canada skated an emotional free skate to selections from Camille Saint-Saens’ “Samson and Delilah,”including the “Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix” and the “Bacchanale.”