“I play all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order.” That was how Eric Morecambe answered the taunt of conductor ‘Andrew Preview’ (André Previn), who was questioning his rather ‘unusual’ treatment of the introductory theme of Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto.
Nowadays, the sketch from the 1971 Christmas show of the famous comedy duo Morecambe and Wise has attained cult status and can be viewed on the Internet. Many years later, Previn let slip that taxi-drivers still regularly addressed him as ‘Mr. Preview’.
In fact, the sketch was not the first to parody Grieg’s indestructible concerto: that honor belongs to Franz Reizenstein, with his Concerto Popolare dating from 1959. Grieg’s masterwork also did well in films such as The Seventh Veil (1945) and Lolita (1997), not forgetting television series such as Twin Peaks and The X-Files. It was even used to sell sport shoes and cars.