Tag Archives: classical music humour

’Cello encores

Some “serious relief” from the preceding post of ’cello funnies.

Stjepan Hauser plays Popper’s Hungarian Rhapsody, Op. 68 –

.

Mischa Maisky in a Shostakovich trio movement –

.

Rostropovich plays Popper’s “Dance of the Elves” –

.

Catgut coda –

.

.

.

^

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

’Cello funnies

https://i1.wp.com/joshreads.com/images/0612/i061222mgg.jpg

.

Big Bird earns his keep introducing Yo-Yo Ma on “Sesame Street” –

.

Cheeky Croatian Wunderkind Stjepan Hauser mimics some famous exponents of the violoncello (including his own former teacher, Rostropovich). The comical impersonations encompass their individual playing styles, gestures, postures, quirks, tics and expressions.

THE SEND-UP :

.

THE VICTIMS :

Mischa Maisky –

.

Mstislav Rostropovich –

.

Yo-Yo Ma –

.

Natalia Gutman –

.

Pablo Casals –

.

Jacqueline du Pré –

.

Daniil Shafran –

.

The duo 2Cellos (Stjepan Hauser and Luka Šulić) cover the Guns N’ Roses song “Welcome to the Jungle” –

.

’Cellist Yo-Yo Ma does battle with jazz man Joshua Redman on the cartoon show “Arthur” –

.

.

 

 

 

 

.

^

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Philharmonic Name Game [the solutions]

ANSWERS to Philharmonic Name Game :

https://i0.wp.com/www.powell-pressburger.org/Images/51_ToH/Monk_Gibbon/Hoff18.jpg

1. Vladimir Ashkenazy
[Ashkenazy is the transliterated Hebrew word for “German” = tedesco in Italian]

2. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
[He was the second surviving son of the great Sebastian Bach ; Ger. Bach = “brook”]

3. Thomas Beecham
[No, “Masetto” was not a bungled anagram of Maestro – it’s a diminutive form of Tomaso. Anciently this British conductor’s family surname had been Anglicised from its original French form Beauchamp. Maestro Beecham was the founder and first Musical Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. His grandfather was the chemist who produced Beecham’s Pills and Powders.]

4. Ludwig van Beethoven
[Batavia is the Latin name for the semi-legendary homeland of the Dutch, the island of Betawe, “place where beets are grown”, which is also the meaning of Beethoven]

5. Alban Berg
[Latin albus = “white” ; Ger. Berg = “mountain” = Fr. montaigne ; surname Montaine]

6. Frank Bridge
[A name most often seen in the composition title Variations on A Theme of Frank Bridge by Benjamin Britten ; It. ponte = “bridge”]

7. John Cage
[Italian word coppola = “cage”]

8. Marc-Antoine Charpentier
[Fr. charpentier = “carpenter, joiner”]

9. Carl Czerny
[Czech word černý = “black” = It. nero]

10. Claude Debussy
[The composer was born Achille-Claude de Bussy; this original Burgundian form of his surname is locational: de Bussy]

11. Antonín Dvořák
[Czech dvůr = “royal or noble court, court yard, manor house, farm” ; Curtis = Fr. courtois, “courteous, courtly, from the court”]

12. Christoph Willibald Gluck
[Gluck became the French form of the composer’s name ; the German original Glück means “luck, fortune”]

13. Joseph Haydn
[Ger. Haydn, Heiden = “peasant” = It. paesano]

14. Johann Nepomuk Hummel
[Ger. Hummel = “bumblebee” = Fr. bourdon ; incidental note : Saint John of Nepomuk was a patron of Austria-Hungary, where Hummel was born in the city of Pressburg]

15. Sigiswald Kuijken
[Nederlandse kuijken = “chick, chicken” ; Sigiswald Kuijken is a prominent early music conductor of our day]

16. György Ligeti
[Hung. liget = “grove” ; ligeti = “of the grove”]

17. Franz Liszt
[Hung. liszt = “flour” = It. farina]

18. Claudio Monteverdi

19. Carl Nielsen ; Gaelic Mac (Mc) = Danish suffix –sen = “son”

20. Luigi Nono
[It. nono = “the Ninth” ; compare Pio Nono = Pius IX]

21. Giuseppe Sinopoli
[The “Chinatown” part comes from a fancifully putative form of Sinopolis ; cf. Napoli for Naples, originally named Neapolis – “New City”- by ancient Greek colonists in Italy]

22. Bedřich Smetana
[Czech smetana = “cream”]

23. Nikolai Tcherepnin
[Ger. Schädel = “skull” = Russ. tcherep]

24. Michael Tilson Thomas
[This American conductor’s grandparents, who were famous Yiddish theatre stars in New York, bore a form of his family’s Slavic name, Thomashefsky]

25. Peter Warlock
[an assumed name ; he was born Philip Heseltine]

.

.

The puzzle was invented by the present author. ~Q~

.

.

 

 

 

 

.

^

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Philharmonic Name Game [the clues]

NOTE. This puzzle was devised by the present author, and lent out to an onomast for larks. It is now brought home to roost in the Mangan paper. ~Q~

Transcultural name changes – whether they are serious or jocular, voluntary or otherwise, made for a legal measure or for waggish pleasure – have been around for as long as there have been persons displaced, lives reїnvented, or careers in hope of advancement.

Most notably in the world of classical music, we have the old joke propounded by Victor Borge, as he intimated to audiences that the composer of Rigoletto was actually known as “Joe Green” to his friends – and that Giuseppe Verdi was merely a fancy stage-name. (In Evil Under the Sun, Inspector Poirot solves a crime by interpreting a character’s jesting remark about the translated name  “Joe Green”.)

Advancing a career will sometimes necessitate the changing of one’s name in earnest. The Neapolitan composer Domenico Scarlatti went to work at the Spanish court and became Domingo Escarlate. Georg Friedrich Händel sought fame and fortune in England, and thus the form of his name altered with his circumstance when he made the crossing from Hanover to London as George Frideric Handel. The Bohemian musician Anton Rössler emigrated south to Italy (a common career move for Northern composers in the eighteenth century) and thereafter was known as Antonio Rosetti.

In the present puzzle you can see twenty-five translated names of people (watch for befuddling nicknames) ; and in a separate post you will then find the twenty-five solutions, which are the individuals’ actual names, accompanied by a gloss where it was deemed useful or enlightening. Those answers, shown in the subsequent post, are all reasonably well known names from the world of classical music. Each of them reveals a famous composer or conductor.

The name of Pietro Mascagni, for example, though not among the present puzzles, might be disguised in a putative jesting translation as “Pete Sly”.

In almost all cases the transformative concealments were made using only five major European languages, English, German, Spanish, French, and Italian (though there are a few wild cards in the puzzles, such as a Hungarian surname for a solution, an Anglicised Scots rendering in a clue, and a modified Yiddish form).

So roll up the sleeve of onomastic care, and have a go !

1. Vlado Tedesco
2. Chip Brooks
3. Masetto Belcampo
4. Lou Batavia
5. Whitey Montaine
6. Francesco da Ponte
7. Giovanni Coppola
8. Mark Joyner
9. Carlo Neri
10. Achilles Bussy
11. Tony Curtis
12. Willie Fortune
13. Beppo Paesano
14. Jean Bourdon
15. Waldo Chick
16. George Groves
17. Francesco Farina
18. Claude Greenberg
19. Charlie McNeill
20. Louis IX
21. Joey Chinatown
22. Fred Creamer
23. Klaus Schädel
24. Mischa Thomashefsky
25. Pedro Brujo

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

.

^

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Classical maniacs Igudesman & Joo

Two products of the Yehudi Menuhin School have joined forces globally to wreak comedic havoc upon the classical music circuit.

Profile on CNN –

Just from a broad sampling of their YouTube offerings one can hear very good musical technique while sensing some rather uneven results in their comedy stylings.

Here are selected some of the best vids, others having been deemed very corny indeed, tiresome or diffuse, over long on “laffs” and short on music. Frankly, it is hard to imagine enduring an entire concert of these guys without a major supporting cast of accomplices on the order of John Malkovich, Viktoria Mullova and a willing, competent orchestra who might agree to join the duo on stage for some serious relief and entertainment. The act really does better interacting with other performers and a master of ceremonies to move things along (as with their Odessa gig, the only vid where the thought came, “Gosh, I wish I was there !”). Having such company on stage seems to keep the duo’s cornball excesses in check.

“I Will Survive” (in Odessa) –

“Where is the remote ?!” –

.“Being John . . .”

Some of the routines seem borrow a page from the book of Victor Borge and perhaps Jack Benny (in the normal world of music-making, Mullova is fantastic as a “straight” player, by the way) –

.

.

 

 

.

^

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized