Yeethoven brings the Classical Era to classic Kanye

The Yeethoven mash-up concert took place yesterday at LA’s Artani Theater in Little Tokyo, delighting fans of hip-hop and classical music alike.

Yeethoven was more than a recital – it was a re-imagination through the mind of a classical connoisseur for an audience of hip-hop heads.  Ever notice how seamlessly Kanye stitched together delicate piano chords with hyped-up horns in “Blood on the Leaves?”  It’s not all that different from Beethoven juxtaposing the bold opening of Symphony No. 5 with the lighter, more conventionally beautiful movements later in the same piece.  Most of us remember the hooks, but YMF conductor Yuga Cohler‘s orchestral sequences made even the most detail-devoted Yeezus fan notice new elements of their favorite tracks.

It wasn’t just an entertaining performance – it was also educational.  Before each piece, Cohler and co-curator/arranger Stephen Feigenbaum would walk the audience through what they were about to hear, so it wouldn’t just devolve into a game of “Find the Yeezus” in between classical flourishes.  For most of us, classical music is not accessible without private tutors or pricey arts schools.  But for 90 minutes on Saturday, the Young Musicians Foundation gave us a free tour of their world and spoke to us in a language we could understand.

Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.

– Ludwig van Beethoven (1810)

The video above is an example of the mix: Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, op. 84 followed by “New Slaves” (which starts at the 5 minute mark.) We got the full concert too — thanks again to YMF. Press play, sit back and enjoy!

Opening Song: Beethoven’s “Overture to Egmont, op. 84,”

10:00 “New Slaves”

16:53 “Blood On The Leaves” Leads into “Symphony No. 5 First Movement in C-Minor, Op. 67”

30:28 “Hold My Liquor” Mashup with “Symphony No.7 in A major”

37:16 “I’m In It” Mashup with “Symphony No. 5 Second Movement in A Flat Major, Op. 67”

44:55 Guilt Trip Mashup with “Fifth Piano Concerto in E-flat major, Op. 73”

53:00 “On Sight” Mashup with “String Quartet No. 14.”

All photos: Maks G | Video: Maks G | Filmed: Maks G & Hetalbot | Audio: Sgt. Tibs

All photos: Maks G | Video: Maks G | Filmed: Maks G & Hetalbot | Audio: Sgt. Tibs

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Bottom right: Sgt. Tibs, Mr. Hudson, & Maks G

Bottom right: Sgt. Tibs, Mr. Hudson, & Maks G

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you were wondering, we found out that Kanye officially approved the concert and concept. I hope he knows fans of all ages were in attendance and came away impressed, as evidenced by three rousing standing ovations for the orchestra. After all, where else can you see a well-executed mash-up of the Yeezus album with Beethoven’s most famous symphonies?! Loved it all.

If I had to pick the most elite of top tiers, I’d go with “New Slaves” and “On Sight” as my ultimate *TIBS FAVS. of the concert experience. ~ Sgt. Tibs