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5.0 out of 5 stars Recaptured (Twisted) Youth,
My friend and I saw the good Prof. Schickele here in Pasadena last night (March 29th-- AND the conductor of the Pasadena Symphony is Jorge Meister!)-- and the last number on the program was the WONDERFUL "The Seasonings"-- I had a very hard time even after all these years of first hearing this on a REAL record of not singing along with every little tune!!! This piece last night, being sung by singers whom I do not doubt were not even born when I first heard a recording of it, were as good as the ones I remember from my decadent youth on the original recording. Buy this C.D. if only for this piece!
5.0 out of 5 stars I store it in the CD changer in my car.,
My favorite single line of music from this is from "The Unbegun Symphony". Who would think to combine "You are my sunshine", a
tune I have always thought of as sappy sweet, played on violins,
with a background of horns, (I don't know what piece, but it
makes me thing of something noble and civilized) making it a
definitive statement of a benevolent sense of life.
PDQ Bach's other works are delighfully absurd, as are Peter
Schickele's commentaries. (Well I have a new set of friends now)
5.0 out of 5 stars New Horizons in Music Appreciation Indeed...,
It was while sitting in Music Appreciation in college that I was first introduced to the work of P.D.Q. Bach, specifically the track "New Horizons in Music Appreciation: Beethoven's Fifth Symphony," in which Professor Peter Schickele and Robert Dennis serve as the announcers for a spirited game involving the first movement of that particular work. Not only was it funny ("He's playing a cadenza! He's out of his mind! He thinks its an oboe concerto!") it was also more informative than the professor ("I get the feeling we are going to hear a lot of that four note motif, Bob").
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...
5.0 out of 5 stars For Music Lovers: But Not Serious Ones,
By A Customer
I was exposed to PDQ Bach (and Spike Jones) in my formative years, which my children now claim may explain a few things. The CD I purchased from Amazon dot com recently is an upgrade/replacement for the old LP album by this title, which I still have. Peter Schickele has a marvelous comic sense, an obviously deep knowledge of Western music traditions, and very little of the "dignity" which I used to associate with Classical Music.
This album, and indeed all of Peter S's works, are not for those who reverence the classics. It is, however, for anyone who enjoys music: and even more for those who know just enough to appreciate the wild gags Schickele planted here and there.
A parting thought: I've used Schickele's 1712 Overture as a teaching tool, to introduce some of my children to music theory and orchestral composition. (With my relative lack of background, I need all the help I can get.)
5.0 out of 5 stars One for the ages: An Introduction to PDQ Bach,
This was my very first PDQ Bach album, and still my favorite.
Thanks Kevin!!! There are things here that Peter Schickele (PDQ Bach's ghost composer) has never equalled, at least not in the few other records that I have heard or own.
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).
5.0 out of 5 stars PDQ BACH RULES,
I own this album, and I love it. This is possibly one of the funniest things in existence. PDQ Bach (Peter Schickele) is like Wierd Al for classical music. Of course, to fully appreciate his work, it helps to have some knowledge of classical music already.. you have to know what it is before you can laugh at its being mocked. If you like classical music, and have a sense of humour, you will like this. (Will they really sell Bobby Corno to another orchestra?>)
5.0 out of 5 stars Classical music can be fun,
I'm a high school music teacher and am always looking for ways to make music class a little more interesting. Whether you're trying to teach students or your own children about music, this CD will help you. The Beethoven's 5th broadcast (simulated as a sportscast) is particularly great, but you have to understand something about music before listening to it. It's a great supplemental teaching tool. If you're looking for some fun classical music, P.D.Q. Bach makes it fun and entertaining while maintaining the integrity of the piece. Many different collections of great works and songs are on these CD's and the price is hard to beat. I would suggest you have an inkling about classical music before spending "beaucoup de bucks" (lots of money) on more than one CD of his.
5.0 out of 5 stars How did I ever miss this...,
You can imagine me riding in my Honda with orchestral favorites streaming into my 'travel capsule' courtesty of my local 'Classical Music' radio station... And then the 'Beethoven's Fifth' with play-by-play commentary sucked me into another dimension... I hadn't had so much fun since I read Mark Twain's 'Jumping Frog' story translated into French and then back into English by Twain! I emailed the radio station: "What was that?!" They returned my email. I bought it. And my mind is now permanently altered (in a good way)! Most of the cuts on this album are just as good as The Fifth, though it remains my favorite. If your life is too serious and filled with clouds, buy this CD! It's like the sound of the Creator having a good belly laugh (I'm sure he does!)
5.0 out of 5 stars This wurst is absolutely the best!,
I've chuckled, chortled, giggled and guffawed over this album since I first heard it in 1975, courtesy of my choral instructor in high school. If you enjoy and appreciate classical music (albeit with a twist), you'll love PDQ Bach!...for even more fun, try his "1712 Overture."
5.0 out of 5 stars Ru-u-u-u-u-unning Nose!,
PDQ Bach is a satire of serious classical music. By twisting words from opera, or leaving key chords unresolved, or making musicians play their mouthpiece without benefit of the instrument attached, Professor Peter Schickele injects slapstick humor into otherwise serious (and well-played) classical music.
If you have never heard PDQ Bach before, get this CD first. This contains some of his best material, and contains live recordings which I think definitely enhance the listening experience. You get the audience's reactions to what's happening on stage, which makes it all the more funny and gives the new listener a cue as to what is supposed to be funny.
I found an old cassette tape in a drawer this morning and popped it into my car cassette player. It happened to be a recording I made many years ago of this album -- I could barely see the road through the tears in my eyes -- I couldn't stop laughing all the way to work!
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