"This four disc collection (Volume 1) of the pre-digital recordings of P.D.Q. Bach is excellent! P.D.Q. is the Anti-Mozart, and devilishly dis-fun-ctional at that. And for comedy music, the upside to Professor Peter Schickele is that the music is actually memorable and quite good on its own. The more you know about classical music or music theory in general, the funnier this music becomes. After listening to the oratorio The Seasonings, tell me you didn't roll your eyes at the trio "Bide thy thyme", remember the last football game you attended during the Finale, or find yourself singing "Open sesame seeds" about an hour or so later. The Unbegun Symphony is at least as exciting as the sum of its forty-odd, far more illustrious parts. Why pay for a music appreciation course when you can cram it all in just under 9 minutes. I remain ever-so-slightly disappointed to this day that Mozart didn't think of the same key change in Symphony 41. The Pervertimento is priceless. Beethoven's Fifth with running commentary is probably one of the best routines on record. The Schleptet lays a glorious egg and the two operas are irreverant and inane respectively. Oh yes, and don't forget to cringe during "Please, kind sir". The remastered sound is excellent compared to their first digital release. ... I ... am having to wait until Vanguard releases the second volume so that I can have a decent copy of the Missa Hilarious. However, in the meantime this collection will do just fine."
Good stuff, but...
Sean Cullen | Portland, OR USA | 04/27/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having indulged in the works of Prof. Schickele whom I call the "Weird Al" of Classical Music (Sorry, Al) for ten years now, I give this collection thunderous applause, especially for the fact that it FINALLY includes the "Sanka Cantata!" However, it's my personal opinion that it pulled up one album too soon. Had it included "Portrait of P.D.Q. Bach," there would be no need to wait for Vanguard or Schickele or whoever to remaster the rest of the Vanguard PDQ catalogue. But, since it doesn't, I'm noting my objection here.I like the extended liner notes, though."
Totally corny and totally classic!
Brianna Neal | USA | 11/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What can I say? These attempts to poke fun at classical music and aficionados of the genre are silly, puerile, well-informed, beloved by said aficionados, and utterly hilarious. With a style of humor that is something like a cross between Garrison Keillor, Victor Borge and Monty Python, "Professor" Peter Schickele has been perpetrating the P.D.Q. Bach phenomenon since 1959. "Researching" and sometimes even dressing up as the alleged "last and least" of Johann Sebastian Bach's many children, Schickele has composed, conducted and performed send-ups of various composers and musical styles. This four CD set compiles some the best (or should I say "worst"?) of his efforts. Included are "The O.K. Chorale", "The Unbegun Symphony", "My Bonnie Lass, She Smelleth", "The Seasonings", "Schleptet in E flat minor", "Echo Sonata for Two Unfriendly Groups of Instruments", "Concerto for Horn and Hardart", and my two personal favorites: "Beethoven's Fifth Symphony" (with commentary by sports analysts discussing the "competition" between the conductor and the orchestra) and the hilarious cantata "Iphigenia in Brooklyn". I can remember my father rolling on the floor in hysterics upon first hearing "Iphigenia", and anyone who is familiar with the Baroque oratorio style of such ubiquitous works as Handel's "Messiah" or J.S. Bach's cantatas will undoubtedly howl too at all the "in jokes". If you're serious about Baroque or classical music, do yourself a favor--let your hair down, get un-serious, and listen to these CDs every once in a while. And may every genre of music be fortunate enough to have a "P.D.Q. Bach" invented for it!"
Calamity in high C
kirk linn | San Francisco | 04/09/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"if you cant sing and laugh at the same time just wait til he tries to do a Rap song. look for my favorite song of his "o little town of hackensack" for christmas time"