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Copenhagen symphony takes flash mob to public transit (video)

May 16, 2012|By Chris Barton
  • A member of Copenhagen Philharmonic during a flash mob performance of Grieg's "Peer Gynt"
A member of Copenhagen Philharmonic during a flash mob performance of Grieg's… (YouTube )

Oh, Copenhagen. You brought us the Midcentury furniture designs that make "Mad Men" an interior decorator's dream and saw the wisdom of bike commuting long before L.A. earned its first CicLAvia. Now you've one-upped every philharmonic in the world with video of your orchestra (Sjællands Symfoniorkester) making an entire subway train weak in the knees with a flash mob performance of Grieg's "Peer Gynt" on a Copenhagen Metro train.

In a video filmed last month that justifiably went viral, the Copenhagen symphony is subtly introduced on one of the station's signs with the announcement, "Classical special train: Enjoy the music," before treating commuters to probably one of the most beautiful rides of their lives.

The chills start only 20 seconds in with the piece's familiar flute opening, and maybe one of the sweetest moments of the whole video is how quickly some riders pluck their headphones from their ears to take in what's going on around them. Who wouldn't?

It's all very low-key, at least until the strings enter and various faces of the riders on board give way to a sense of wonder, and it's an inspired choice by the editor of this spot (which was completed as an ad for Radio Classisk) to briefly cut to the tracks ahead. As smiles creep across the faces of both riders and players, the whole train -- and even the place where you're sitting -- seems to lift off the ground, just for an instant.

The clip uses a little movie magic (it's not like you can hear the sounds of the train), but the raw, intimate beauty of it all is almost too much to bear. As one YouTube commenter put it: "Anybody else start crying unexpectedly?"

Imagine if you were on that train, or imagine that happening on the Red Line between the Cahuenga and Hollywood & Highland stops. We have bike cars on Metrolink now, so maybe just one more bit of Danish inspiration isn't too much to ask

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