P.D.Q. Bach & Peter Schickele: The Jekyll and
||P.D.Q. Bach and Peter Schickele: The
Jekyll and Hyde Tour is a two-faced concert
production that does not require blackmailing local orchestra
members to play P.D.Q. Bach’s music. This program requires nothing but a piano, plus a decently-equipped and sold-out
auditorium (Joke. They’ll play for anybody who wanders in.). In this
two-composers-for-the-price-of-one performance, singers
Michèle Eaton and Brian Dougherty perform such classic P.D.Q. classics as the
recently-discovered Four Next-to-Last Songs and the heart-rendering Shepherd
on the Rocks, With a Twist, which features Prof. Schickele playing the
tromboon (a cross between a trombone and a bassoon, combining all the
disadvantages of both in one easy-to-schlep instrument) and the lasso
d’amore. Audiences also experience (among other
delicacies) excerpts from the Little Notebook for “Piggy” Bach.
The Jekyll (or is it Hyde?) part of the program features songs and rounds by
Peter Schickele, including the notorious rock ‘n’ roll settings of famous
Shakespeare speeches (as heard in the composer’s solo song programs as well as
on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion), as well as even more
music by P.D.Q. Bach, including the musical recipe PDQ 3-Step Crab Dinner.
This tastefully boffo program is playing at
indiscriminating theatres around the country. See the concert
schedule page for dates and places.
||P.D.Q. Bach and
Peter Schickele: The Jekyll and Hyde Tour (excerpts)
||Many selections from this concert program were recorded on the
Telarc CD of the same name.
This audio sample contains excerpts from the following: Long Live The King—Introduction—Das
kleines Birdie, Der Cowboykönig, and Es war ein dark und
shtormy Night from Four Next-To-Last Songs—If Love Is Real—Introduction—Cyndi—Introduction—Hamlet’s
Soliloquy, The Three Witches from MacBeth, Juliet’s Soliloquy,
and Funeral Oration from Julius Caesar from Songs from Shakespeare
Audio Samples can be played using the free RealAudio
Here are some excerpts from recent reviews describing the
and Hyde Tour:
|[The] audience was mightily and consistently entertained at
this performance, billed as The Jekyll and Hyde Tour—the program is
devoted half to P.D.Q.’s music, half to Schickele’s.
It is expertly executed by commentator-keyboardist-singer Schickele,
still impersonating the unkempt professor, and assisted by two versatile
singers, soprano Michèle Eaton and tenor David Düsing.
One laughed long and hard at the Schubertian Four Next-to-Last Songs....
Comedy-wise, all three performers hit the mark throughout, and all used
their several and legitimate musical abilities sharply.
— Daniel Cariaga,
Los Angeles Times
|Peter Schickele, best known as the perpetrator of the
oeuvre of P.D.Q. Bach, is a very funny man, gifted with both musical talent and
a fine sense of the absurd. The
Jekyll and Hyde Tour combined the P.D.Q. Bach material (as much standup
comedy as music) with songs written under his own name.
Schickele challenges his listeners to decide which is Jekyll and which is
Hyde; by concert’s end, the identities were clear.
His co-dependents in the performance were Michèle Eaton, soprano (who
spent the first half disguised as “Nurse Crumley”) and David Düsing, tenor.
Schickele, basso blotto, made his entrance in a wheelchair.
At 65, he no longer does his old descent-from-the-balcony routine, but he
still wears his white tie (askew) with lumberjack boots — to unleash a splendid
barrage of puns and jokes.
Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
|Peter Schickele arrived in a wheelchair for his concert
Thursday night at Severance Hall. Pushed
down the aisle at top speed by Nurse Crumley, he was unceremoniously dumped at
the foot of the stage. Picking
himself up and brushing himself off, he lumbered on stage and launched into a
nutty monologue. For the next two
hours, he kept the audience in stitches with his zany new show, The Jekyll
and Hyde Tour. In his
absent-minded professor persona, Schickele lectured, sang and played the piano,
tromboon (a hybrid instrument combining the worst features of trombone and
bassoon) and lasso d’amore (a hollow tube that produced musical tones when
whirled above the head). He was
assisted by soprano Michèle Eaton, who portrayed Nurse Crumley, and tenor David
Düsing, who also functioned as keyboardist, percussionist and stage manager.
After intermission, Schickele departed from the printed program and
launched into a delightful series of musical party games.
Among the clever tricks were three-part rounds with ridiculous words,
canons in inversion and retrograde, musical greetings composed for family
celebrations, a lampoon of French lyrics and a medley of ’60s-style songs in
close harmony. |
— Wilma Salisbury,
[Cleveland] Plain Dealer