Warning: Piano Concertos May Be Hazardous to Your Health
This may be old news[ref]I was busy last week. Sue me.[/ref], but I saw this article on The AV Club, and it inspired a wonderful nostalgia trip. Apparently, there was another[ref] I know this isn't the first one, but I can't remember where I saw the others. [/ref] study on how music affects driving habits. Always eager to learn what I should and shouldn't be listening to, I looked down the list of "Top 5 Blood Pressure Raising Tracks." It was fairly unsurprising- Beastie Boys, Papa Roach, Rachmaninoff...
If there's anything I like more than music that's too heavy to drive to, it's classical music that's too heavy to drive to. I hadn't heard Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# Minor, so I went to YouTube. As soon as the opening chords started, I got chills.
I had heard this before.
The scene: I'm ten, maybe a little younger. Watching A Day at the Races, starring Marx Brothers Groucho, Chico and Harpo. Somewhere in almost every one of their films, Chico takes a silly piano solo, and Harpo plays- wait for it- the harp.
Here they crash the orchestra pit at a gala concert. Chico plays the piano, but gets chased away by the authorities. Harpo takes over at the keyboard, and starts banging out the Rachmaninoff. Which makes the piano explode.
Yeah, you don't want to be driving to this stuff.
You can watch the scene here. Harpo's bit starts at 2:30. And if you haven't seen much of the Marx Bros., definitely check them out. My favorites are probably A Day at the Races, A Night at the Opera, Go West, and Duck Soup.
Incidentally, if you want orchestral music you really shouldn't listen to while driving, get a load of this.