- Audio Cassette (Jan. 12 1993)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Vanguard Records
- ASIN: B000000EDS
- In-Print Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
One of the things about P.D.Q. Bach is that the more I learned about classical music the funnier I found it. Yes, I have enough memories of my mother insisting on playing the Texaco Opera quiz throughout the house on a Saturday afternoon to appreciate why "What's my Melodic Line?" and its exploration of the mysteries of the Baroque is funny, but it was not until I saw "Amadeus" and listened to "The Marriage of Figaro" that I understood why the recitatias in the Cantata "Iphigenia in Brooklyn" were hysterical (I was tempted to share this story of Iphigenia with my Classical Mythology class, but given their tentativeness to explore Euripides I did not think it wise to have them get neck deep in Schickele). Then again, the Madrigal "My Bonnie Lass She Smelleth" really needs no explanation, so there is something for everybody here, no matter what you level of understanding of classical music.
In discussing the works of P.D.Q. Bach with others it becomes clear that you can no more put together an idea collection of his "best" work than you can for lesser composers like Mozart or Beethoven. But you are certainly going to find a few old favorites and maybe one or two pieces that you have hitherto managed to avoid.
Now, if we can only get a University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople t-shirt...
For first-timers: this is an excellent introduction to PDQ Bach. The trouble with some of the other collections is that they don't have the broad variety that this one has. (And the laugh track--yes, there is one--does add to it.)
Many of the jokes are better enjoyed by people familiar with the warhorses of classical music: Mozart, Beethoven, Handel, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, and so forth. (But sometimes just listening to Schickele cracks me up.)
Quite honestly, PS's humor is rather eccentric. It ranges from subtle to heavy-handed to over-the-top, but once you've heard it, you need to keep hearing it every once in a while. For instance, the aria "Now is the season" from the Seasonings pops into my head for no reason at all, and then keeps running through my head for a week. (Incidentally, this aria is beautiful, and belongs in the Soprano/Mezzo-soprano repertoire. It is a spoof of Scarlatti-era arias--or is it Purcell?--and PS has got the harmonies just right. Hey, if I was a Soprano, I'd sing it!)
I own the double-LP (a beautifully produced set on Vanguard; the CD can't possibly match it in style!) and have been searching for the CD for years, and never thought to look here!
If you like PDQ Bach, this album is an excellent introduction to PDQ Bach for your friends (and enemies).