Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lobster pot

I didn't post anything last evening because I was at a concert of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival. This concert featured the composer-in-residence Peter Schickele, famous for “uncovering” the works of PDQ Bach. The guy is 78 now and has difficulty walking, but his voice (he sings a few of the pieces) and sense of humor are still going strong.

Last night's program was mostly Schickele's own music, most of which I very much enjoyed. One piece contained a novel idea – Schickele writing variations on a tune by PDQ Bach. The composer wondered why he hadn't thought of that idea earlier, even with its incestuous implications. That PDQ Bach tune was the “Howdy There” aria from the oratorio Oedipus Tex which Schickele sang. Saturday's concert included a few PDQ Bach pieces, including “Long Live the King” in honor of the French nobility in the time of the Revolution (the king didn't get any severance pay). Another was was a few songs from “Twelve Quite Heavenly Songs” about the Zodiac. The song about Cancer debated the virtues of smoking crab-grass versus that of lobster-pot. The evening also included the “Goldbrick Variations” in which Schickele interrupted the pianist to announce the last variation was really the theme – PDQ Bach put it last because no one would stick around for the variations after hearing such an awful theme.

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