Gross Concerto, S. -2

P. D. Q. Bach (composer), Peter Schickele (editor)
Flute, Trumpet 1 in B, Trumpet 2 in B, Violin 1,...
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The Gross Concerto is the magnum opus of the Initial Plunge, if that is not a contradiction in terms. It is, as its catalogue number indicates, still a very early work, but it is significant in two ways: it was P.D.Q.?s first orchestral work, and it was the first work in which he wrote for instruments that other composers had either no knowledge of or the goods sense to avoid. The term ?Divers? in the title does not, of course, refer to any submarine activity; it is rather an archaic spelling of the word ?diverse,? and diverse indeed are the flutes played by the soloist in this concerto. Suffice it to say here that were it not for P.D.Q. Bach, the literature for the left-handed sewer flute and the Oscar Mayer wiener whistle would not be what it is today. The first movement, Majestically?with a fast moderateness?unbelievably majestically, is followed by the second movement, Slow but tender; the virtuously short last movement, Fast; no moderateness, brings up the rear. It will be remembered that this work was written for and first played by the miniature flautist ?Peeping? Tom Pollex; with the benefit of hindsight we can see that P.D.Q. was extremely fortunate in having a real virtuoso as an interpreter. Pollex?s performance was so dazzling that no one in the audience seemed to notice, or at any rate care about, the painfully awkward passages that abound in the piece. Professor Lewissohn Clark, of Northwestern University, has written extensively about one of these, the famous ?Northwestern Passage?; it occurs near the end of the middle movement, and in it P.D.Q. spends two very long measures building toward a cadence that he never achieves, after which he simply retraces his steps back to where he started and goes off in another direction. Weaknesses such as this would certainly not have escaped the attention of Prince Fred?s sophisticated friends had not the overwhelming showmanship of Thomas Pollex blinded their ears.
SKU: 116-41304
Duration: 12:00
Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Delivery Method: Print
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