The whole shred craze started out with pop music videos from the past and present, including groups like the Beach Boys and Kings of Leon. But it wasn’t long before it made its way in to classical music as well. There’s something quite amusing about watching your favourite musician apparently deliver the worst performance of their career, whether its on the piano, harpsichord or electric guitar.
We’ve brought together ten shred videos of classical musicians for your amusement. Hope you enjoy!
Itzhak Perlman, Mendelssohn violin concerto
So it seems like even someone considered one of the best violinists of modern times can mess up on occasion. This performance doesn’t quite reach Perlman’s usual high standards. It sounds like the rest of the orchestra is doing its best to keep the show on the road, but that’s clearly a losing battle this time.
Alfred Brendel, Beethoven
The Austrian pianist is considered by many to be one of the most talented of the 20th century, particularly in the area of interpreting works from the classical and romantic periods. That included becoming the first pianist to record all of Beethoven’s works for piano. I suppose this alleged attempt at Beethoven didn’t quite make the cut.
Pinchas Zukerman, the art of Stradivarius
This one should probably carry a caution for anyone who is easily shocked or unsettled by sudden and loud noises, because after hearing Zukerman speak so passionately about the power of the violin and its connection to life, the last thing you expect to hear is what comes out of the instrument next. So…you’ve been warned!
Jascha Heifetz, Vieuxtemps
Maybe it was the laughing audience, or just the generally abysmal playing, but this shred of Heifetz performing Vieuxtemps left me feeling the need to post a video of his actual playing abilities as well. So here he is playing the first movement of Vieuxtemps’ concerto no 5.
Lang Lang, Schumann
This video has it all: an audience that sounds like it is just waking up, or maybe has been chain smoking for several hours; a performer who can hardly string two notes together; and some strange noises at various points throughout the show. Hopefully you’ve never experienced a concert like this.
Radek Baborak, Mozart’s horn concerto
One of the most amusing part about this performance is that Mozart’s horn concerto sounds just fine, complete with an enthusiastic audience, until the horn comes in. Then it quickly goes downhill from there. At least it’s safe to say that if you’re lucky enough to see him in concert, the music will be of a higher standard.
Itzhak Perlman, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
If you thought that Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was at least one piece of classical music you could instantaneously recognise, think again. There isn’t much resembling the original in this shred of Perlman’s violin part.
Krystian Zimerman, Super Mario theme
My first reaction to this was that it sounds better than the original. I mean the original Super Mario soundtrack of course, not the Chopin piece. And it seems like the audience think so too!
Yo-Yo Ma with Itzhak Perlman
Either these shred videos try to make the music sound somewhat plausible, with a good few mistakes, or there is a series of horrific sounds with no resemblance to the original whatsoever. This alleged collaboration involving Yo-Yo Ma and Perlman falls in to the latter category. And what is it about Perlman actually? He seems to be a popular target of video shredders!
Miles Davis, My very funny valentine
Not even some of Davis’ more obscure recordings could compete with this performance. Complete with all the wrong notes, strange sounds in the background and an out of tune piano. All qualities that for this list are absolutely essential.