PDQ Bach Christmas
Anyone who has ever endured high school choir or orchestra perhaps understands the subtle humor in music sometimes found from the likes of Gilbert & Sullivan or PDQ Bach.
I first became familiar with PDQ Bach in the 1970s from an album showing two left hands on a piano keyboard. That might be all you need to know but there’s great fun in the details.
PDQ Bach is known as the 21st child of famous composer Johan Sebastian Bach’s twenty children. Bach’s parents did not bother to give their youngest son a real name, and settled on “P. D. Q.” instead. The only earthly possession Johann Sebastian Bach willed to his son was a kazoo. This, of course, comes from the world’s single foremost expert on P.D.Q. Bach, Professor Peter Schickele, who made P.D.Q. famous in the 1970s with a series of albums and public performances.
Listening to P.D.Q. Bach is hard on the ears but it is so brilliant that you can’t help but listen. It’s like watching a train wreck.
For vocal groups and orchestras in schools and churches everywhere, our hats off to you for taking on P.D.Q. Bach. The stuff can be difficult to perform, especially with a straight face.
P.D.Q. Bach is famous for a few works with Christmas themes such as O Little Town of Hackensack and Good King Kong Looked Out. But we’ll share for you a performance of P.D.Q.’s most famous and most performed Christmas hit, Throw the Yule Log on Uncle John.
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