Friday music: Salut Salon

It’s gonna be a long day. Besides working on The Albatross, I had to dress up, which I hate, to get photographed for the dust jacket of The Albatross.  So let’s begin the day with some nice, upbeat music, played in a, well, acrobatic way. It’s Vivaldi, but you’ll recognize other songs as well. The YouTube notes say this:

“The Summer”, composed by Antonio Vivaldi, becomes the stage for a musical competition. Salut Salon fight acrobatically and with a special sense of humor — this is a Salut Salon classic, a live recording from the movie “Salut Salon. The Movie”, directed by musicfilmmaker Ralf Pleger.

If you closed your eyes, you wouldn’t think anything weird was going on.

Salut Salon is a quartet of four German musicians from Hamburg who have played together since 2000.  As their German Wikipedia article notes, they play not only classical music, but jazz, pop, and folk. One of the members even sings, and they do some bits with a puppet named Oskar. They also run several outreach programs to introduce young children to music.

Here they are with Oskar, and they can’t help cracking themselves up:

There’s a lot more of Salut Salon on YouTube; I haven’t found any serious pieces played in a conventional way. They remind me of a younger, classically-oriented Spike Jones ensemble.


h/t: Ant


  1. Daoud
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Sorry for my ignorance, but is “The Albatross” the actual name of your upcoming book, or is it just a nickname because writing it is so much work and deadlines etc.? (I was thinking it was the latter)

    • Posted August 15, 2014 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      It’s not the title, just the weight around the good professor’s neck. It’s a reference to Coleridge’s poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” The title of the book is unknown, at least to me. Can’t wait to see it in press!!!

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 15, 2014 at 7:09 am | Permalink

        I’d better steer clear of Prof CC then. I was in Porlock just two weeks ago.

      • Daoud
        Posted August 15, 2014 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        Yes this is what I thought it was, but I wondered if I was mistaken.

      • darrelle
        Posted August 15, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        My favorite poem of that genre. I have an old copy of it with gorgeous art work.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted August 15, 2014 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        …several of us want the title to be The Albatross

        • Posted August 15, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

          Perfect title for a book about religion. Perfect.

        • Posted August 15, 2014 at 8:29 am | Permalink


        • Posted August 15, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

          Or, along the lines of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Jerry Allen Albatross … 😝


        • Diane G.
          Posted August 20, 2014 at 12:04 am | Permalink


  2. Sarah
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Thank you for introducing me to Salut Salon.
    Absolutely bringing the joy and also the fun of music to this old lady.

  3. GBJames
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Most excellent.

  4. Posted August 15, 2014 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Don’t let the humour and acrobatics fool anyone: like the all male version Mnozil, the musicians of Salut Salon are all outstanding musicians first, demonstrating a very high level of technical expertise and musicianship I doubt can be accounted for by Gladwell’s assertion for mastery after 10,000 hours (and found wanting in this paper). The love and joy of being able to perform so well for an audience – to bring them along on a musical story – is captivating and infectious.

    • darrelle
      Posted August 15, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      In my experience those that are best at exploring outside the norm are almost always those that have already mastered the classical aspects, whatever the field may be.

      I am all for giving the establishment the proverbial finger and letting it all hang out, and especially for exploring new territory but, even in something as raw as Rock music, mastery of classical forms can only enhance whatever inspirations one may have.

      • Posted August 15, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        Yes, like the LA Guitar Quartet.

        • Posted August 15, 2014 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

          I have only heard the L.A. Guitar Quartet on the rafi, but they were great!

  5. Diana MacPherson
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    That was great! The cracking up like that happens to me just in that way but not in such circumstances because I don’t have talent like that. It was funny to watch.

    • BillyJoe
      Posted August 15, 2014 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      Sounds a little like Kate Bush in her song “Aerial” from the album of the same name

  6. Posted August 15, 2014 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Haven’t had that much musical fun since Victor Borge! Thanks for a great start to the day.

    • Posted August 15, 2014 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      Yes i was reminded of Victor Borge, too. “I thank you from my bottom to my heart.”

    • Larry Esser
      Posted August 15, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Exactly! Victor Borge came to mind here too. What is amazing is not only the musicianship, but the timing of all the moves. Wow, that is really something.

  7. Posted August 15, 2014 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I’m too old for this kind of pyrotechnic proficiency.

  8. Ken Elliott
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Brilliant! Beautiful music, incredible talent, and laughter. Some of the better aspects of life.

  9. docbill1351
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I’m really looking forward to “Why Intelligent Design Is True” and your induction as a senior fellow at the Disco Tute. Of course, you’ll have to close comments on your blog. Looking forward to seeing pictures of your new dog, Dembski, too.

    (Kink made me write this.)

    • Posted August 15, 2014 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Using the “B” word violates da rulz, methinks … 🙂

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 15, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Ha ha! Bizarro Jerry.

  10. Posted August 15, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Very, very fun!! Cracking up on stage, hilarious. I love that effect of the pizzicato cello played like a guitar.

    There’s a really fun scene with that at the very end of the film Master and Commander which is great fun (and a great piece of music). (Boccherini’s “Musica notturna delle strade di Madrid”.)

  11. Posted August 15, 2014 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Oh yes, they are great! I saw them last year here in Hamburg. It’s amazing what they can do with their instruments. Only true mastery can make it look that easy.

  12. Posted August 15, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    The second video reminds me of Elvis cracking up on stage on account of one of his backing singers (iirc).


  13. Jiten
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to dissent and say that if you are an accomplished musician then you don’t need to be a circus artiste as well. The music is good enough.

    • Posted August 15, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Fair enough.

      But there’s more.

      I’m very happy that they can step out of the stereotype stiff, stern, serious classical musician role from time to time.

      I would never want to see this for a full show; but as an encore? It’ll bring the house down. It shows a real sense of fun.

  14. Kevin
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    That was fabulous. But their outfits were distracting, despite the fact that they are very talented…they are also not unattractive.

  15. pmarston
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    Germans seem to like the combination of music and humour (who doesn’t) and do it extremely well. Here’s Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester, who I saw in Switzerland a few years ago. It’s worth watching this long video through. Max can have the audience rolling in the aisles with a look.

    Of course, if you like more humour with your music, you’d have to go a long way to beat Fascinating Aïda. Here’s their take on budget airlines.

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