Tuesday, November 22, 2011

No Boundary Line To Art

How's my mental health today?
I don't really care - I'm enjoying exploring the music.

I've been looking through Youtube clips, fascinated by the number of individuals and groups that choose to use music (usually classical) at the core of their comedy routines. Some are brilliant, some are subtle in their ingenuity, some are outrageous, others are mindlessly boring,  a few are feeble attempts at humour, and the odd one is just stupid - tastelessly moronic.

PDQ Bach has been a favorite of mine since I was in High School 40 years ago. There are spoofs of symphonies, operas, madrigals, Greek tragedies, radio broadcasting, and more. Peter Schickele, creator of PDQ Bach is brilliant. Some of his spoofs are surprisingly subtle, others are outrageous mockery.  His comedy is both aural and visual, at times even using plays on words (German & English). Most of his comedy is easy to catch but sometimes it gets lost if the listener has no knowledge of classical music.

As I searched for PDQ Bach clips  on Youtube I found a 2 part clip of Peter Schickele performing with the Boston Pops orchestra and Itzhak Perlman, one of the world's top solo violinists. (Perlman overcame a crippling bout of polio as a child to become a child prodigy and then a very successful concert violinist). The routine is one I had never seen or heard before, and I found amusing to watch classical musicians let their hair down to participate in a silly comedy bit.

If you're interested check out the following links:

Part 1 (link) consists of Schickele's introduction to PDQ Bach

Part 2 (link) is the actual performance.

Hope you enjoy it. I did!

Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art. - Charlie "YardBird" Parker

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