Video: George Frideric Handel, Roberto Cacciapaglia, and Super Bowl XLV



The Super Bowl is a traditional American event that attracts millions of spectators who wouldn’t dream of being anywhere else on a Sunday night.

For those watching the game on television, there are many things to keep a person entertained (apart from the sporting action), including the commercial ads, which are some of the most high-profile and coveted slots of the year, available only to the wealthiest corporations.

Although I gave it a miss this year, as is my usual practice, I couldn’t help but to read on Twitter about the commercials that used classical music.

The Coca-Cola Company takes top prize for having a whopping two commercial ads with music by Handel and Tchaikovsky during Super Bowl XLV.

Here’s “Coca-Cola Border,” which uses the sarabande from George Frideric Handel‘s harpsichord suite in D minor.


Even though the ad is fun and playful (kind of silly, really), and the music seems to fit, it isn’t by Handel.

The work is an arrangement of Handel’s movement by composer Roberto Cacciapaglia called “Handel Hendrix House,” inspired by the Baroque composer’s London home, now museum, and the neighboring attic residence where Jimi Hendrix lived for a time.

Here’s Cacciapaglia’s arrangement.

Now listen to the original Baroque composition. There are apparent similarities between Handel and Cacciapaglia’s works, but they’re not exact.

Cacciapaglia was not the first to take inspiration and borrow music from Handel’s sarabande. Eighteenth-century English composer James Nares, a younger contemporary of Handel’s, took ideas for his own sarabande, incidentally, for use in his harpsichord suite in D minor. (And the list goes on.)

Here’s harpsichordist Julian Perkins performing Nares’s sarabande.

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