Monday, January 7, 2013

The Top 10 of P.D.Q. Bach

Happy New Year to the opera world!  I apologize for my absence as I have been waist deep in applications for college positions.  The paperwork is ridiculous in some cases, but I am a fierce and dedicated worker - hopefully I will have some exciting details to announce in the future!

In other news, exciting football games have engulfed my life recently, along with uniquely horrible national anthem performances.  All the while, I am about to overdose on J.S. Bach.  I originally intended to perform a lecture recital on a Bach cantata, but I have since decided to throw in some Vaughan Williams into a semester consumed with preparing Bach's B Minor Mass, where I will be the tenor soloist at a performance at the Kauffman Center in Kansas City on my birthday - April 28, and a couple weeks prior to that I will act as the Evangelist in Bach's St. John Passion.

But with that said, and since it is still my vacation for a couple more weeks, I would like to write about another famous Bach other than J.S. and C.P.E. Bach or any of the J.C.'s - but rather, the great P.D.Q. Bach.



P.D.Q. Bach is known as one of the most prolific plagiarists in music history. Here's a look at the genius of P.D.Q. Bach with these top ten compositions.  I have to say, moments of this will be funny to music nerds and not very funny if you don't know much about classical music - but for the music freaks and geeks out there, here you go:

10. Tocatta et Fuga Obnoxia


9. "The Farmer on the Dole" from Four Folksong Upsettings


8. Sonata for 4 Hand Viola


7. Bach Portrait



6. 1712 Overture



 5. "Eine Kleine Nichtmusik" (with theme subtitles!)


 4. The Seasonings an Oratorio


3. The Abduction of Figaro - click here for the full opera




2. "Erotica" Variations, for banned instruments and piano
  • Theme: Windbreaker
  • Variation I: Balloons
  • Variation II: Slide Whistle
  • Variation III: Slide Windbreaker
  • Variation IV: Lasso D'Amore 
  • Variation V: Foghorn, Bell, Kazoo, Gargle


 1. New Horizons in Music Appreciation (although not a composition of P.D.Q. Bach, this was his attempt to make classical music exciting)

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