PDQ Bach “Echo Sonata”

P.D.Q. Bach (1807-1742)?

Echo Sonata for Two Unfriendly Groups of Instruments
Obsequiously edited by Professor Peter Schickele

In this work P.D.Q. demonstrates his inability to handle the antiphonal concept, a concept so central to the structure of Baroque instrumental music that P.D.Q could no more ignore it than understand it.  The musical statements made by the woodwinds, if taken alone, would seem to indicate a giant step forward for the neophyte Bach, since they are surprisingly well conceived when compared to the clumsy vagaries of the earliest TRAUMAREI; however, the answers to these statements, played by the brasses, immediately erase any overly optimistic expectations the listener may have developed during the first four measures.

One is tempted to speculate that the two instrumental groups in the ECHO SONATA represented to P.D.Q. Bach two opposing aspects of his own personality, and in this light it is interesting to note that it is the vulgar brasses, and not the civilized woodwinds, who have the last word.  This work, in fact may be viewed as a sort of musical Mein Kampf, a blueprint for future outrages which, although certainly innocuous compared to those perpetrated by that later scourge of Europe, would nevertheless probably have been prevented had people realized what they were letting themselves in for.

Professor Peter Schickele
December 20, 1991
Beulah, North Dakota
Waiting out a blizzard.

[Back to the concert program]

she helps to feel full the person in big group of people. that sometimes it appears rises the whole problem for many. But if you correctly use it. That what problems you won’t have any more. and in my life I am absolutely precisely main character. So relax the rolls and live without thinking about the past. Which disturbed you.