P.D.Q. Bach:  A 40-year retrogressive

An overview of classical music’s underbelly


December 27, 28 and 29, 2005 at 8 p.m.

  Where:   Peter Norton Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th Street

A concert of P.D.Q. Bach’s eclectic effluvia.


Prof. Peter Schickele, pundit and practitioner, along with various cohorts.


Good question.

When an elephant reaches the age of forty, it’s no big deal.  And Methuselah, when he had racked up two-score years, was just beginning to get the hang of that thing we call life.  But when a concert series devoted to the music of a composer who the A.M.J. (American Musicological Junta) says never even existed—when such an anti-establishment and upstream-swimming cultural endeavor lasts for four decades, that’s news!

And also a cause for celebration.  This season’s 40-year retrogressive concerts feature music [sic] from each decade since 1965:  the now-classic Two Madrigals from “The Triumphs of Thusnelda”;  the rabble-rousing Liebeslieder Polkas, for chorus and piano five hands;  the free-standing (which is more than could be said of its composer) madrigal, “Two Hearts, Four Lips, Three Little Words”;  and that magnumest of opuses, the String Quartet in F Major, “The Moose”.  PLUS—as an extra additional added bonus to boot—a performance of the round “O Serpent” featuring three actual serpents, writhingly played by three actual serpent players.

Other performers include The Canticum Novum Singers under Harold Rosenbaum;  the Armadillo Quartet under a restraining order;  the beloved Manager of the Stage, William Walters;  and several desperate-for-work free-lancers who prefer to remain nameless, except on their checks. And, of course, the good Professor Schickele himself, aiding and abetting throughout, as is his long-standing wont.

This “overview of classical music’s underbelly” will take place at the very site of last year’s sold-out holiday-season concerts, Peter Norton Symphony Space.  Remember:  These are Professor Schickele’s only P.D.Q. Bach appearances in New York City this season, and seating is limited!  Act sooner rather than later!  Tickets are available only through the Symphony Space box office:  call 212-864-5400, or visit www.symphonyspace.org.  Tickets:  $56/41/26.

Read the complete list of works on the program.

Find out how the works on this program fit into the 40-year history of annual New York P.D.Q. Bach concerts.

Also see the special announcement for people who attended this concert.


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