At least a couple of people have listed Vivaldi's Four Seasons. I don't think it's overused. The only programs I can remember to it are Patrick Chan's two LPs and Surya Bonaly's 1998 Olympics LP (which, IIRC, was an old program that she went back to). Are there other programs to it that I can't recall? Is it more a case of not liking it as a vehicle for skating? Not liking the music itself? Just curious.
I don't think Umbrellas of Cherbourg is used much either. V&M's FD to it is one of my favorite programs of theirs.
Like many of you, however, Carmen is #1 on my list. It's wonderful music, but enough already!
Usova and Zhulin's 1992 free dance
Stephane Lambiel's 2006 freeskate
Alexei Yagudin's iconic "Winter" short program from 2002 was a Bond version of a less often used excerpt
I'm sure I've heard a few times from non-elite skaters, so those wouldn't really contribute to oversaturation.
In any case, I wouldn't consider it overused and I like the music so I wouldn't mind even if it were.
To me, music that has been used by a handful of top-10 skaters and a few other international competitors over the course of a decade or two is neither overused nor obscure, but somewhere in between. Maybe it could be considered a "standard" or "known" piece.
I'd say "overused" would apply if there is at least one top-10 skater or team using it almost every year, and often several. Especially if lower ranked skaters also tend to use it.
Sometimes a given piece is overused for a year or two, e.g., after being popularized in a movie, but then fades back to just "standard" status.
Of course, our individual tolerance for the borderline between standard vs. overused can fluctuate depending how much we like the music and also by how often we've been exposed to the same famous program or to programs using the same music used by non-elite skaters.
For full-length musicals, operas, ballets, etc., even symphonies . . . or collections of chamber works like Vivaldi's Four Seasons -- if there are numerous different tunes from the same source that get used in different programs, can we say that some of the tunes are overused while others may remain underused? So if a skater announces "I'm skating to X," and we think "Oh no, not that again," occasionally it will turn out that we won't be (over)familiar with the music once we hear which excerpts they've chosen.
Thought it was funny (for those of you who watch figure skating in the US on Universal Sports) that Tanith Belbin (doubtlessly their best commentator; side comment: hope they soon fire the hopelessly tongue-tied, ineloquent, and generally foolish Peter Carruthers) said Davis & White's Scheherazade FD is "without a doubt" their best ever. Much as I think Tanith is excellent as a commentator, this was one ridiculous claim, if not just for the tired music itself. At least when Asada skated to it recently, it was a non-standard arrangement.
How could I have forgotten? Roxanne!
I don't like the music, but it's the lyrics that really sink the thing. To my ear they're melodramatic and downright crude. One of the celebrities on Dancing with the Stars just used it.
Phantom of the Opera
I happen to love both Les Mis & POTO, and I love the tango as a dance, but in skating I'm sick of all of them.
I love Rachmaninoff, but the 1st movement of the Rach 2 is way over-used! The footwork sequence is always to the same part of the music. Sasha's was particularly memorable. Mao does it well and for casual fans who haven't heard this music so often, her program will be a big hit. But for others, haven't we seen this before? I liked that Lu Chen used the 2nd movement in 1996. I think the third movement is the best, but it doesn't lend itself that much to skating, though it has been used (Midori Ito, Evan, others, I'm sure).
CARMEN!! Please, EVERY discipline has done it. Virtue/Moir did a different take on it that was new, but overall, it's just tired, no matter how you cut it. Let it retire with dignity.
Phantom of the Opera, though I LOVED Davis/White's Free DAnce and Patrick Chan's skate to it. But it's tired, another one that should retire.
Bolero: I love this piece but it's a cliche, not to mention it's Torvill and Dean's signature, leave it alone!
Swan Lake, Nutracker, Sleeping Beauty: all Beautiful music but overused
Bells of Moscow: Not so much overused but way too heavy for skating, it's like a dirge! How can a skater be inspired and have energy when it's the music is so serious? I felt this pulled down Mao in 2009-10
Masquerade Waltz: Overused
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto number 2: I agree, overused and looks the same.
Tosca: Everyone uses the same cut or similar. If you will use Tosca, use a different cut, please!
I was just about to bring up Tango de Roxanne but was beaten to it. That and Requiem for a Dream have got to be the pieces of skating music that I most hate. I'm all for retiring Carmen, Scherezade, all Swans and Firebirds, Bolero (nasty piece, that one), Phantom of the Opera, Les Miz and that goes double for vocals, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker except for Christmas programs, Blues for Klook unless you're Daisuke Takahashi, Nessum Dorma, Spartacus, ANY AND ALL ROMEO AND JULIETS!
Maybe now that the ISU will allow vocals some of these old pieces to get to retire and we'll see more variety
Oh add Malaguena to that list, and yeah Romeo and Juliet is also tired though I do love Nina Rota's version.
Love Story (to me that's Sale/Pelletier's signature).
Oh, and how about a rule saying no more than two skaters using the same piece of music? I remember in 2000/01,, there were three skaters doing gladiator- Yagudin, Stojko and Abt. In 2009-10 I think three Ice Dance teams did Requiem for a dream!
I think Michelle used the third movement (if I recall correctly) in her lovely 1998 SP.
I do wish people would branch out with Rachmaninoff. Even the third piano concerto would sound new, though entirely characteristic of him, and it's so close to parallel to the second concerto. There's fabulous stuff from the three symphonies also.