Here’s an announcement that’s so timely that tomorrow at this time it’ll be too late. Peter Schickele will be a guest interviewee on New York radio station WQXR on December 26th, 2002 from 4:00 until 5:00. His host will be Elliott Forrest, who performs disk jockey duties on WQXR every weekend and is also the host of A&E’s Breakfast With the Arts at the exact same time. Mr. Forrest can also be heard as fellow radio announcer Jocko on the P.D.Q. Bach recording WTWP: Classical Talkity-Talk Radio. He will ask Prof. Schickele the tough questions about this year’s annual P.D.Q. Bach concerts and Prof. Schickele’s other current activities, and maybe even sample some of P.D.Q. Bach’s music if the FCC doesn’t catch wind of the plans first. If it’s not too late, you can listen along by tuning to 96.3 FM in the New York City listening area, or over the Web at www.wqxr.com.
Several Peter Schickele recordings have been added to the offerings of Ye Olde Schickele Shoppe. Most of these recordings are recent reissues of earlier works, either coming to digital media for the first time, or having been digitized before but now being spiffed up with re-mastering and bonus tracks. This includes such perennial favorites as Noël, the album of Christmas music arranged by Peter Schickele and sung by Joan Baez. So many of these recordings have become available in such a short amount of time (2002 was a very short year) that we’ve put together an entire news article about The Reissues of 2002 in order to sort this out. This article describes not only recent CD reissues now being sold at this Web site, but also includes information about some recent DVD reissues and some CD reissues that are so recent that they aren’t even out yet.
Two other CD’s are not new and are not reissues, but are just ones which haven’t ever been sold before on these pages—on other pages perhaps, but not these pages. Mother Goose and More, released a couple of years ago, is unique among our inventory in that it does not contain any music written by Peter Schickele. Instead, it contains Mr. Schickele narrating some classical works for children. He shares narrating duties with none other than Julie Andrews, and then the music is performed by Kenneth Cooper, Gena Raps, The 3 Flute Moms, and other fine musicians. On the other hand, The Ill-Conceived P.D.Q. Bach Anthology contains selections from all six of the Telarc P.D.Q. Bach recordings. It was released four years ago, but was previously not listed among the available CD’s in Ye Olde Schickele Shoppe because ..., uh, because—hey, did I mention that article on The Reissues of 2002?
The schedule of upcoming Schickele Mix programs for the 2003 Winter season has now been posted on the Program Sequences page. And this time the schedule includes a few programs that are so old, they might even seem new. Although there are no new Schickele Mix programs being produced, some of the existing programs are rebroadcast more often than others. Several listeners have written to this Web site to point out that almost all of the programs being broadcast were from the later seasons and to ask if it might be possible to hear some of those programs from the earlier seasons that were only broadcast way back before those listeners became listeners. And now it is! Possible, that is. Several of the upcoming programs are from the very first season, and haven’t ever been broadcast during this century, including two programs about parallel intervals. See the complete schedule through March of 2003.
Around this time of year, people start wondering about the annual P.D.Q. Bach concerts in New York City, trying to find out as much as possible beforehand, in order to lessen the shock this music can have on the unprepared. In order to help these people prepare for what must surely be the highlight of the seasonal concert-going season, additional information about these concerts has been posted on this very Web site. And in this case “additional information” does not mean just interesting but contradictory news like “this year the annual New York concerts will be held in Philadelphia”; it means a wide assortment of a sort meant to touch on many different aspects of the concerts in several different ways. We’ve got a partial plethora of enlightening insights for the eyes and ears. In addition to the more-than-complete listing of works on the program, wondering people can now find audio excerpts from some of the pieces to be played, a magazine article the Professor wrote about the unusual instruments employed, and even a unique but informative audio clip of Prof. Schickele discussing yet another angle on these same concerts. With information so comprehensive, there is really only one way to find out more than what’s presented here, so finally, we’ve also included links for buying tickets off of the Web sites for the concert halls in New York and Philadelphia. (No, I was not joking about the concerts being in Philadelphia this year. It would be in poor taste to joke about Philadelphia.)
The English translation of the
original German text for P.D.Q. Bach’s enigmatic cantata Blaues Gras
(the “Bluegrass Cantata”) is now posted on this Web site.
This may be of little interest to those who originally purchased the
recording Black Forest Bluegrass in the 1970’s or 1980’s (and
indeed, to the general public) because that LP contained this exact same
information on the back of the album cover, but it may be of much greater
interest to those who purchased the CD reissue of that album in the 1990’s
or 2000’s because the CD did not contain this exact same
information on the back of the album, nor even in one of those little
booklets that CD’s used in a vain attempt to disguise a lack of proper
album cover space.
There may be some CD buyers who were not merely trying to replace their worn out (but with better packaging) LP’s, but were actually hearing the album for the first time. Since many P.D.Q. Bach scholars are used to hearing P.D.Q. Bach’s music in English, there is now perhaps a whole generation of CD buyers who have been blissfully unaware of what was actually being sung. It is for them that we have now posted this English translation of the text, along with a new introduction by Professor Schickele containing some historical insights. Anybody who had previously been baffled by the German words to Blaues Gras can now be baffled in English. “Ach, ja.”
Just like The Peter Schickele Rag before us, this Web site has been publishing crossword puzzles about two times a year. And even more just like The Peter Schickele Rag, some of those puzzles have been the exact same ones that appeared in the Rag. But now we’ve got a completely new puzzle, one that hasn’t already been published in the Rag. In fact, this new puzzle hasn’t been published anywhere at all before. Peter Schickele has made a brand new crossword puzzle just for visitors of this Web site!
Eighty-two brand new clues can be solved to give you eighty-two brand new interlocking words or phrases just by filling in 185 missing letters. This new puzzle can be solved interactively online or it can be printed out and solved offline. Hours of fun and excitement await you, unless you solve it faster than that.
In a major new technological improvement, a mere 75 years after sound was added to motion pictures, sound has now been added to The Peter Schickele/P.D.Q. Bach Web Site! And unlike The Jazz Singer, most of the new sound selections on this site are classical music, the type of music that helps improve the brain power of babies. And the clips are all just 20 or 30 seconds long, in case your baby has a short attention span.
Yes, that’s right, we are actually including real sound on a Web site devoted to music. Many of the Peter Schickele recordings that are offered for sale in Ye Olde Schickele Shoppe now include audio samples to go with the comprehensive track and artist listings. Just like in the record stores of the Jazz Age, you can actually listen to part of a recording before buying it.
We are also working on audio samples for the P.D.Q. Bach recordings as well, but that is going to take longer (remember, you can’t make “multi-media” without “ti-me”) because of the difficulty of finding samples of P.D.Q. Bach music that won’t run afoul of the Internet Communications Indecency Act. So in the mean time, check out the soothing sample sounds of Ye Olde Peter Schickele Recordings Page. As Al Jolson never said, “you ain’t clicked on nothin’ yet.”
Peter Schickele’s new adaptation of The Emperor’s New Clothes will receive its world premiere on November 10th, 2002. Mr. Schickele wrote music and narration based on the venerable children’s classic for a work commissioned by An die Musik as part of their Timeless Tales series. An die Musik will give the first performance of the work, with the composer narrating, at 4:00 p.m. in Merkin Concert Hall in New York City. Other pieces on the program include Haydn’s Quintet for oboe, strings & piano, and Mozart’s Quartet for piano & strings in G minor. See other upcoming concerts on our Concert Schedule page.
Those of you who like to plan your schedules months in advance have no doubt been eagerly anticipating the latest additions to the Concert Schedule page and the Schickele Mix Program Sequence page. Well, anticipate no more! Both of these timely pages have been recently updated with timely news, and just in time, too. The first of these pages lists the concerts currently scheduled for the 2002-2003 season, including the first glimpse of this year’s annual New York P.D.Q. Bach Concerts. The second of these pages has up-to-the-minute information about which hour of Schickele Mix will be broadcast each week in the upcoming months for the rest of the year.
The biggest event in the 2002-2003 Concert Season is a Composer In Residence stint with the Pasadena Symphony. This fine orchestra, conducted by Jorge Mester, who many will remember as the conductor of the very first public P.D.Q. Bach concert, will perform three different concerts each containing a large Peter Schickele composition, plus a gala benefit concert, P.D.Q. Bach vs. Pasadena, featuring The Seasonings and The “Howdy” Symphony. This is certainly great news for those who were trying to plan their schedules months in advance from a location near Pasadena.
In what may be the largest single addition to this Web site since the site was first launched almost a year ago—indeed, the largest addition to this site since the beginning of the World Wide Web itself—we have incorporated much, much more information about the Schickele Mix radio program, including a complete program database listing all the names of all the pieces played on all the programs—that’s right, all the programs, even, for the first time on any page, the elusive Listener Support Specials heard only during fund drives.
This information is made possible by the generosity of Public Radio International, who has not only been distributing Schickele Mix for over a decade of years, but has also been operating the www.schickelemix.org Web site with its Schickele Mix program database. They generously gave us this entire database, along with all of the information that wasn’t in the database then but is now, and they also granted us free reign to add enhanced searching options and to (as most people do when they get a new database) completely change the user interface. This database move was done in order to help restore peace and harmony to the world by allowing the information about Schickele Mix to exist in the same convenient place as the information about Schickele, Peter and Schickele, Prof.
So now the Schickele Mix program database—where you can list the playlist of any show, or search those listings by composer or title or performer or album name or even record number—is available right here on this Web site, convenient for those people who already visit this site, and also still convenient for people who used to visit www.schickelemix.org and can still use that address to visit this site instead, to get all of the Schickele Mix-related features they got before and even more. In addition to the program database, they can still use the Program Sequence page to find out which of the many Schickele Mix programs are scheduled to be broadcast in the next few months, and the Program Locator on the PRI Website Listener’s Center to find out on what stations Schickele Mix is being broadcast. All in all, it is definitely more information about Schickele Mix in one place than has ever been available on either of these two Web sites before!
Many people wrote to ask when the concert listing page would include concerts beyond the end of the 2001-2002 season, and the answer is June 09, 2002. We have just added concerts for June, July, and even August of 2002. There’s only one concert per month (this is summer vacation, after all), so to pad out this listing we’ve also added an exclusive never-before-seen picture from the concert season just ended. So now you can choose between finding out about new concerts and finding out about old concerts.
Now you can make your Schickele Mix listening experience less random! You can find out ahead of time which Schickele Mix programs are scheduled to be broadcast, and you can check behind time what music was played on shows that you’ve already heard. All of this information (which is really the same information in both cases) can be found starting on the Schickele Mix Playlist Sequence page.
The Peter Schickele/P.D.Q. Bach Web Site was recently honored with a “Cool Site” award by the Open Directory Project. The Open Directory Project is the largest human-run directory of Web sites, with over three million Web site listings being organized by volunteer editors. One such editor singled out this very Web site to receive a “Cool Site” designation, as well as the following kind words of praise: “I'm glad that the composer(s) now has/have a URL to call his/their own. The site is well-designed, efficient, and fun.”
The “Cool Site” award means that this Web site’s entry in the Open Directory is listed with a nice, handsome gold star next to it. (You can see this listing at Open Directory: Arts/Music/Composition/Composers/S/Schickele,_Peter, but really, it’s just a link back to this Web site with a star next to it.) It also means that we can display our lovely “Cool Site” e-plaque at the bottom of this page.
Although it is quite impressive that P.D.Q. Bach has won a commendation that his illustrious father never even dreamed of, we are going to continue bringing you unique crossword puzzles (see below) and timely concert listings (soon, we promise) the same way as before we became an award-winning site, and our webmeister “Cool Site Lloyd” is not going to let this award go to his head.
A new “classic” crossword puzzle has been posted on our puzzle page. This particular puzzle was originally printed in the ultra-rare issue #10 of The Peter Schickele Rag, but this is the first time it has been available on-line. And even those who were faithful Rag readers in 1983 will find something new, as the clue for 25 Down has never before been published! We realize that some people may still be solving the previously posted puzzle, so in addition to this new old puzzle, there’s also a Crossword Puzzle Archive page with the old new puzzles.
Several of the dates on our concert schedule page were previously listed as “To Be Announced.” Now they are “Announced,” and not “To Be.” These concerts are “to be” with the Lark Quartet in March. This is especially good news for those of you who live in Petoskey or Olean or even Buffalo, NY (you know who you are).
The other concert in March is with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, and additional information about that concert is now available via a link to their Web site. The other concert that was added to this list recently is the annual “Music of Peter Schickele” concert with the Armadillo String Quartet, which is good news for those of you who live in Los Angeles, CA, or who are going “to be” there in May. Follow any of the links in this announcement to get to our newly updated concert listing page.