Howdy Symphony, S. 67/8

P.D.Q. Bach

Edited by Prof. Peter Schickele
Duration: 00:16:00
Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

P.D.Q. Bach spent the bulk of his creative life in a ridiculously out-of-the-way little town in southern Germany called Wein-am-Rhein, and it was there, in 1789, that this work was written. In 1772, another composer in another out-of-the-way place had written a symphony that came to be known as the ?Farewell? Symphony; its composer, Franz Joseph Haydn, wrote the last movement in such a way as to allow the players to get up and walk off during the music, one by one, leaving nothing but two measly violinists to play the last few measures. This charming example of Haydn?s bucolic wit was intended to impress upon his employer, the Prince of Esterhazy, the fact that his orchestra was most anxious to leave for Vienna. The closest thing to a patron P.D.Q. Bach ever had was Wein-am-Rhein?s only member of the nobility, Prince Fred. In April of 1789, after hearing his own orchestra perform the Haydn ?Farewell? Symphony, Prince Fred agreed to take his musicians with him the next time he went to Vienna, and on the eve of their departure he commissioned P.D.Q. Bach to write something to bring them all back together again upon their return.

The ?Howdy? Symphony is a paean of praise to the joys of reunion and companionship. It is in four movements: a slow opening, marked casual introductions, leads to the main body of the first movement, lively, with lots of French cheese. The second movement, walking around with a cup of coffee, is a theme and variations, and the following jolly little menu includes a blatantly charming trio featuring two piccolos. The fourth and last movement is a brilliant and very fast finale marked like a bat out of hell.

Additional Information

Editor Schickele, Prof. Peter
Orchestration 2 2 2 2 - 2 2 1 0; Timp. Perc. Str.


1. Introduzione casuale; allegro con mucho brio (casual introductions; lively, with lots of French cheese), 2. Andante con mojo (walking around with a cup of coffee)
3. Menuetto allegretto (jolly little menu)
4. Come un pipstrello fuori dall?inferno (like a bat out of hell)

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