Author Topic: P.D.Q. Bach  (Read 3093 times)

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snyprrr

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P.D.Q. Bach
« on: May 24, 2009, 12:48:20 PM »
I thought this might be a nice antidote.

Please, educate me.

karlhenning

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Re: P.D.Q. Bach
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2009, 01:43:44 PM »
Cor, no response, eh?

Somehow, the first PDQ Bach album I ever bought on vinyl, is still my favorite . . . with Hansel & Gretel & Ted & Alice, the O.K. Chorale from the "Toot" Suite & the The Art of the Ground Round.  Album was called The Intimate PDQ Bach, and the cover is a parody of the famous RenĂ© Prinet canvas, Kreutzer Sonata.

karlhenning

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Re: P.D.Q. Bach
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2009, 01:38:16 PM »
There was the sort-of-obligatory band piece which we played once, but since I had already gotten past the initial what fun this Bach imposture can be phase, I didn't find the band work engaging enough on its own (somehow).

Joe Barron

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Re: P.D.Q. Bach
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2009, 09:01:20 AM »
I saw Schickele perform PDQ Bach in Philadelphia way back in 1974, and it stays in my memory as one of the funniest afternoons I've spent in a theater. Schickele's humor comes from many directions at once: there's the parody of various musical styles, the odd instruments, multi-lingual wordkplay (Wachet Arf, Peruckenstuck, The Toot Suite), and, best of all, to my mind, the satire of business of music scholarship. If you haven't read The Intimate Biography of PDQ Bach, I'd recommend grabbing it used somewhere. The text begins with the word "It," which is, of course, footnoted.

I agree with Karl: my favorite recording is the intmate PDQ Bach, though the Wurst of PDQ, a sort of greatest hits, also has a few classics,  such as Iphigenia in Brooklyn.

Unfortunately, the joke wore rather thin after a while. PDQ's best stuff is still the earliest, and I never found the purely instrumental stuff as funny as the vocal pieces. Words 9and visauals) are the proper medium for humor, I think. It's hard to get laughs an abstract medium like music. The repertiore of funny sounds and wrong notes is limited, although the right music can make merely clever lyrics seem hilarious. Tom Lehrer's songs are much funnier than the lyrics alone.

Offline Brewski

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Re: P.D.Q. Bach
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2009, 09:11:50 AM »
I saw Schickele perform PDQ Bach in Philadelphia way back in 1974, and it stays in my memory as one of the funniest afternoons I've spent in a theater. Schickele's humor comes from many directions at once: there's the parody of various musical styles, the odd instruments, multi-lingual wordkplay (Wachet Arf, Peruckenstuck, The Toot Suite), and, best of all, to my mind, the satire of business of music scholarship.

You tagged what makes Shickele so successful: his ability to find so many different kinds of humor.  I think I saw him around that same period, Joe, and also recall it as a very sophisticated show, played to an audience of mostly college students majoring in music.

Just last December I reviewed his latest CD (here), a live recording taped in Owings Mills, MD.  While I agree that perhaps his earlier projects are the funniest, this one has plenty of laughs, and it felt good to see him still at work.

--Bruce
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