Tuesday, 18 May 2004

Two for the Culture Vultures

The Ill-Conceived P.D.Q. Bach Anthology: The Hearer's Digest Condensed Version
Contains parts of 1712 Overture, Love Me, Classical Rap, Minuet Militaire, and excerpts from Oedipus Tex, The Musical Sacrifice, The Short-Tempered Clavier, Grand Serenade for an Awful Lot of Winds & Percussion, Four Folk Song Upsettings.


The Wurst of P.D.Q. Bach: The Hearer's Digest Condensed Version
This Hearer's Digest Condensed Version is made of excerpts from the following: Schleptet in E flat Major:Introduction ; Tema con variazione from Concerto for Horn and Hardart:Introduction ; first Aria from Iphigenia in Brooklyn : New Horizons in Music Appreciation IV. : Andante Allegro from 'Unbegun' Symphony : What's My Melodic Line?: 'Open sesame seeds' from 'The Seasonings':Introduction ; 'Now is the season' from 'The Stoned Guest' : 'My bonnie lass she smelleth' from The Triumphs of Thusnelda.

Available here.

If you've never heard of PDQ Bach...

P.D.Q.BachIn 1954 Professor Peter Schickele, rummaging around a Bavarian castle in search of rare musical gems, happened instead upon a piece of manuscript being employed as a strainer in the caretaker's percolator. This turned out to be the 'Sanka' Cantata by one P.D.Q. Bach. A cursory examination of the music immediately revealed the reason for the atrocious taste of the coffee; and when the work was finally performed at the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople, the Professor realized too late that he had released a monster on the musical world. Unable to restrain himself, and with the misguided support of the U. of S.N.D. at H. and otherwise reputable recording and publishing companies, Prof. Schickele has since discovered more than four score of P.D.Q. Bach scores, each one more jaw-dropping than the last, each one another brick in the wall which will someday seal the doom of Musical Culture.

The conspiracy of silence that has surrounded P.D.Q. Bach (1807-1742)? for two centuries began with his own parents. He was the last and the least of the great Johann Sebastian Bach's twenty-odd children, and he was certainly the oddest. His father ignored him completely, setting an example for the rest of the family (and indeed for posterity), with the result that P.D.Q. was virtually unknown during his own lifetime; in fact, the more he wrote, the more unknown he became. He finally attained total obscurity at the time of his death, and his musical output would probably have followed him into oblivion had it not been for the zealous efforts of Prof. Schickele. These efforts have even extended themselves to mastering some of the rather unusual instruments for which P.D.Q. liked to compose, such as the left-handed sewer flute, the windbreaker, and the bicycle.
He does for Classical Music what Weird Al Yankovic does for its contemporary.

No comments: