program notes by composition > G > Grand Serenade for an Awful Lot of Winds and Percussion

Grand Serenade for an Awful Lot of Winds and Percussion

P.D.Q. Bach / Tastefully adapted to the modern Concert Band by Professor Peter Schickele

Grand Serenade for an Awful Lot of Winds and Percussion is a humorous piece in four grand movements by the fictional P.D.Q. Bach.

1. Grand Entrance

2. Simply Grand Minuet: Some buzz their mouthpieces. A piccolo duet plays the melody. At the end, clarinets gurgle a B-flat.

3. Romance in the Grand Manner: melody of “Old Folks at Home.”

4. Rondo Mucho Grando: Crasho Grosso in percussion; many musical snippets, including a trumpet “charge” fanfare, "You Gotta Be a Football Hero," and a Beethoven String Quartet.

Peter Schickele (b. 1935) is a composer, music educator, and Grammy-winning parodist. Born in Iowa, he attended Swarthmore College and graduated from Juilliard. He wrote for a number of folk musicians, including Joan Baez, and is an accomplished bassoonist, but he is best known for comedy albums featuring his music, which he presents as being composed by P. D. Q. Bach for whom he has invented an extensive persona. He asserts that PDQB invented the "dill piccolo” (for playing sour notes), the "tromboon” (cross between a trombone and a bassoon, with all the disadvantages of both), the "proctophone" (latex glove attached to a mouthpiece) -- don’t ask -- and the “überklavier” whose 15-octave keyboard makes sounds which only dogs can hear down to sounds which only whales can make.

Last updated on December 4, 2019 by Palatine Concert Band