P.D.Q. Bach

By Patricia E. Finger

P.D.Q. Bach fans were not disappointed in the "final" tour Of Peter Schickele and friends during their stop in Louisville's Kentucky Center for the Arts on Saturd ay, October 27, in Whitney Hall. Exhibiting their usual sarcastic and outrageous puns on serious music, this group is anything but serious.

Schiekele was assisted by the multitalented pianoer, Peter Lurye, and mezzanine soprano, Dana Krueger. The handy stagehand, Hal Coon, however, seemed to tickle the audience the most with his slow-witted, reluctant movements, resulting in the effects of exploding electrical connections and black-outs in the concert hall.

The Excerpts from Little Notebook for "Piggy" Bach allowed the audience to experience Peter Schickele's ability to play "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" with his nose in expert fashion. The Four Folk Song Upsetting for mezzo, devious instruments, and piano featured Dana Kreuger, accompanied by Lurye on piano, and Schickele on the devious instruments.

Krueger, a genuine opera singer, performed with relish the songs entitled "Little Bunny Hop Hop Hop," "Oft of an E'en Ere Night is Nigh," "He Came from Over Yonder Ridge" and a political pun on subsidized farming, "The Farmer on the Dole."

The best part of the evening came last in the form of a new P.D.Q. Bach opera called The Magic Bassoon, a tragicommodity in one act. This title may sound a bit familiar, but it is not to be confused with Mozart's Magic Flute. P.D.Q. Bach's style, which has been called manic plagiarism, employs the same insanity with which he wrote his other opera, The Abduction of Figaro. Schickele played the part of Pan (god of forests, pastures and flocks) while Krueger appeared as a lovely? young? Woodland Nymph. Pan began the opera with a normal-sized bassoon which somehow gradually disappears in his arms until only a reed is left, all because Zeus doesn't like bassoons or something like that.

If you missed seeing Peter Schickele and P.D.Q. Bach's final performance in Louisville, don't despair. It is awfully hard to take anything about these guys seriously, including the inevitability of a "final" tour.

If you haven't had enough of this type of extraordinary pillaging, the Louisville Chorus will present the second last annual P.D.Q. Bach Celebration on Monday, April l, 1991, in the Bomhard Theater of Kentucky Center for the Arts. For more information on this concert, contact the Louisville Chorus Box Office at (502) 895-SOSO.