‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’ reworked in the style of Beethoven is a stroke of genius

27 May 2020, 14:48 | Updated: 27 May 2020, 20:24

‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’ reworked in the style of Beethoven
‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’ reworked in the style of Beethoven. Picture: Daniel Wnukowski/Facebook

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

If the world’s most famous nursery rhyme had been written by the father of Romanticism...

Classical music history tells of composers reworking the great music of their predecessors. From Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini to Vaughan WilliamsFantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, some of today’s most famous classical works are variations on a theme by an earlier composer.

Now, here’s one for the modern day…

We stumbled across these exquisite variations on a theme of ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’, as if written by Beethoven (watch below).

Read more: Beethoven's Fifth Symphony reworked in the style of Chopin >

Old MacDonald in the Style of Beethoven

Crafted by Polish Canadian pianist, Daniel Vnukowski, the reworking retains the main melody of the nursery rhyme, while bringing in all the characteristics that make up Beethoven’s great piano works.

You hear the building blocks of the main melody, which gradually gains more drama and tension, and as it goes on, becomes almost symphonic in power.

While in quarantine, Wnukowski is providing a free improvisation every Saturday at 12pm PT (8pm UK time, BST) on his Facebook page and his website.

We look forward to seeing his next rendering… ‘Twinkle twinkle’ in the style of Chopin, perhaps?