The genius behind P. D. Q Bach, and the compoaser of the score to Silent Running, is 86 today. Happy birthday, Peter Schickele!
May he live to be a happy, robust, still-composing, still performing 139, at least.
Some people know him as a great disk jockey. Some people know him as the singer of cabaret tunes. Some people know and love him as a composer of music for symphony orchestra, or to accompany Where the Wild Things Are.
Then there are those happy masses who know him for his historical work, recovering the works of Johann Sebastian Bach’s final and most wayward child, P. D. Q. Bach.
One need not be a classical music fan to appreciate much of the humor in Schickele’s work. But if one is familiar with classical music and the tropes of critics and artists, there will be added nuances and fits of laughter.
Shickele has spent his life having a great time in music, and spreading cheer. A life well lived.
Tip of the old bathtub-hardened conductor’s baton to Eric Koenig.
- Wonderful story about Schickele’s 2015 revival of P. D. Q. Bach live performances (from “the only dead composer who still accepts commissions”), in the New York Times
- Classical Notes: “Defiant Requiem,” Peter Schickele, “Little Women” (timesunion.com)
- Classical Comedy is Harder (the-unmutual.blogspot.com)
- Dining With Caruso Near the Old Met (wqxr.org)