The Most Difficult Decision in the World, Some 248 Years in the Making (Part 1?)

Best of MozTo narrow down the overpowering wealth of compositions in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s untouchable arsenal to fit on a single, nolby titled disk may have been the most difficult decision anyone in the freethinking world has ever had to make. Lucky for those of us in possession of ABC Westminster Gold’s virtuous compilation (10 so far by Discogs stats), this decision was not met with half-assery.

Firing the first shot across the breakable bows of eager ears is (arguably) Mozart’s magnum opus, Eine Kleine Nacht Musik, followed by the ominous first movement from Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550. With Piano Sonata No. 8 (first movement) in the three spot, and Serenade No. 4 K. 203 (again, first movement) batting cleanup, the first half of this LP, and the entirety of this post, come to an untimely halt.

I’ll eventually regurgitate my sheepish thoughts on the second most difficult decision in the world, aka the second half of ABC Westminster Gold’s overly ambitious, and painfully tedious deliberation, but not tonight. Don’t forget the classics, kids, and don’t wait until the last possible minute to post your daily rants!

The Wurst of P.D.Q. Bach

P.D.Q. Bach CoverThere are days when I hate The Groove. This time sucking, sleep-depriving exercise that began, mainly to explore my record collection (and the limits of my patience), loves to sneak up on me. Just when I think I’ll have a quick post, and then merrily continue on with my day, something interesting pops up and I’m forced to explore it, or live out the rest of my days regretting the time I DIDN’T spend on something worthy of, well, my time. I blame this guilty conscience, and P.D.Q. Bach.

I was going to introduce a “new category” today. I was going to call it Cover Focus, where the subject of the post would, well, focus on an album’s cover (I could have managed another, more creative title, but it was 6:04 in the morning, so, lay off!). I had the cover to The Wurst of P.D.Q. Bach in mind when I imagined the lucrative future of Cover Focus (seeing it on billboards and on the sides of buses rolling from town to Groove happy town). Instead, my curiosity took hold and I began to research Professor Peter Schickele and the composer, P.D.Q. Bach.

Wurst BackWhat I found out was absolutely hilarious, and borderlines on genius. Peter Schickele (a graduate from Juilliard and former classmate of Philip Glass… a Glassmate if you will), creates an artificial, and comical, world within the often-humorless Classical Music genre. In this world, the Professor (of the fictitious University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople) “unearths” discarded, and often terrible, works by P.D.Q. Bach (the counterfeit child of Johann Sebastian Bach). On this album, a best of P.D.Q. Bach, or Wurst of, if you will (or if you won’t… the album is pressed… it’s done), is performed by the Professor and his magnificent Chamber Orchestra in front of a sizable audience that isn’t afraid to show their appreciation with bursts of laughter and arousing applause (man, do I LOVE the run on sentence).

I imagine it is exceptionally difficult to create good music, and I bet it’s exponentially difficult to create really good “bad” music. For that, and the several, and also genuine, laugh-out-louds I expressed from listening to this album, I humbly, and with a pinch of new-found admiration, thank Professor Peter Schickele for his duty in preserving the great many works of P.D.Q. Bach.