The Music of Queen Re-Imagined by “Extraordinary” Classical Pianist, Natalia Posnova

Queen’s con­junc­tion of the high­ly the­atri­cal with the musi­cal­ly vir­tu­oso set the bar for rock opera as high as it will go. Fred­die Mer­cury and Bri­an May were such extra­or­di­nar­i­ly tal­ent­ed musi­cians that it seems impos­si­ble for any­one to do their com­po­si­tions jus­tice in cov­er ver­sions, and I can’t think of any­one who has. Until now, per­haps. Because now, I have seen pianist Natalia Pos­no­va cov­er Queen’s 1980 movie theme song “Flash,” writ­ten for the, shall we say, less-than-mem­o­rable Flash Gor­don film of the same year. The orig­i­nal song is an almost ridicu­lous­ly cool oper­at­ic rock anthem, fea­tur­ing every­thing we love about the clas­sic Queen song: John Deacon’s tense, thump­ing bassline, Roger Taylor’s explo­sive drum fills, Bri­an May’s gui­tar arpeg­gios, and, of course, vocal har­monies the likes of which the Mor­mon Taber­na­cle Choir might envy.

Natalia Posnova’s ver­sion fea­tures none of these things. Only a piano, and in the video, her shiny red Flash Gor­don-themed out­fit. Nev­er­the­less, she man­ages to com­plete­ly cap­ture the dra­ma of the orig­i­nal in her ver­sion, titled “Flash Fan­ta­sy.” She cer­tain­ly con­vinced Bri­an May, who writes on his blog, “THIS WOMAN IS EXTRAORDINARY! I just ‘dis­cov­ered’ Natalia Pos­no­va. She is an amaz­ing pianist and inter­preter of songs. And I do not use this term light­ly. This video clip is worth a mil­lion hits. I hope it gets them … I have seri­ous­ly,  in all these years, nev­er seen or heard any­thing like this. To see this amount of beau­ty, tal­ent,  inno­va­tion and pure bravu­ra in one shot is astound­ing.” He hopes to see her live some­day. Above, she tack­les anoth­er the­atri­cal Queen song, “Who Wants to Live For­ev­er,” this time in suit­able evening wear for the hyper­dra­mat­ic bal­lad. Posnova’s ren­di­tions bring to the fore­ground the clas­si­cal har­monies embed­ded in these songs. For more on Posnova’s inter­pre­ta­tions of Queen, see Fred­die Mercury’s friend Peter Free­stone and Pos­no­va her­self dis­cuss her approach in the video below, and enjoy her take on anoth­er love­ly bal­lad, “Don’t Try So Hard.”

HT to OC read­er, Dirk, for send­ing this along.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Gui­tarist Bri­an May Explains the Mak­ing of Queen’s Clas­sic Song, ‘Bohemi­an Rhap­sody’

Queen Doc­u­men­tary Pays Trib­ute to the Rock Band That Con­quered the World

Lis­ten to Fred­die Mer­cury and David Bowie on the Iso­lat­ed Vocal Track for the Queen Hit ‘Under Pres­sure,’ 1981

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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