Friday, July 01, 2005

And now for something completely different...

Gah! Have decided this blog is starting to take itself too seriously. I mean God? Relationships? Investment Bankers? Basically all the things I don't believe in. Change the topic, quick!

Meanwhile am in love with this conductor called Peter Oundjian (he's director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, but has been doing a few performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra; he's also apparently going to be playing at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony, btw). It's not that he's a particularly great conductor - it's just that he has a tendency to grab the mike in between pieces and do this little stand-up comic routine, doing jokes (or putting in some random trivia) about composers and music in general (for a sample see link at the end of this post). It's not even that the jokes are that funny, it's just that there's something incredibly wicked and hilarious about a conductor doing this and it's such a pretentious thing (it's like something out of Mad - a bunch of people sitting around making jokes about Mahler) and it's such a wonderful change from the usual stuffed shirtedness of orchestra performances.

Anyway, inspired by this, decided to put up the ten worst composer jokes ever told - or at least the ten worst composer jokes that I could make up (actually the worst composer joke is the one about Handel telling this young wannabe composer to use his reference in court because it should open some doors for him, but given this author's long-standing contempt for cheap puns, that one is inadmissable; the second worst joke is the Far Side one featuring a skeleton at a piano and the caption "Silence! the master is decomposing"):

1. As she watched him reach for her cutlery, Celia remembered, with a growing sense of dread, Bartok's fascination with fork music.

2. Johann Sebastian Bach's career as a hairdresser came to a swift end, after he insisted on showing every customer how he could do the same haircut in 27 different ways.

3. "You're pregnant AGAIN?!", said Johann, looking up from his latest waltz. "That does it. That is the last Strauss".

4. Unable to read Beethoven's scribbled handwriting, Hans inadvertantly dropped a 't' from the title of the composer's third symphony, thus dooming it to commercial failure. (Author's note: don't worry, it'll come to you)

5. It was after this road incident that Sir Elgar composed that immortal paean to British motorways: 'Honk and Circumstance'

6. Lying in the master's bed, Maria listened with growing horror to the galloping and vaguely suggestive notes of the composer's forthcoming overture. Apparently Rossini did kiss and Tell.

7. W. A. Mozart at a bar: "One vodka martini, please. Agitato, not appassionato."

8. Thrilling to the touch of Chopin's fingers, Dominique felt a pang pass through her as she stared into his sensitive blue eyes and heard him say "Don't worry. This will only take a minute."

9. Though impressed by the child's enthusiasm, Franz's teacher was always having to remind the boy not to leave things unfinished.

10. A modest man by nature, Claude was always astonished by the overwhelming popularity of his humble little pastry, the eclair de lune.

P.S. Link to Mozart Effect: What about other composers?

If this doesn't work, just type in "Mozart Effect" "Mahler Effect" in Google and click on Penn and Teller Bulletin Board.

1 comment:

cascando said...

quite liked the composer jokes. and speaking of dropped t's on beethoven's third, you might want to check your spelling of beckett in "i'm a book's man myself". your blog has proved a pleasant distraction from reading up on feuding paramilitary guerrilla forces in colombia. so thank you.