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Moore Beethoven

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Ludwig van Beethoven (Wiggy to his friends), was born 245 years + 1 day ago. So there’s no better time to listen Dudley Moore spoof the old boy.

(And 30 years later…)

 

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  • Warren Terra

    Re Beethoven (rather than Moore):

    The Google Doodle Game is cute, and fun.

    There’s also the Mark Steel Lecture on Beethoven, which I quite like (I linked the radio version; it was later remade for TV, and can be found on YouTube, but I haven’t watched that version).

    • efgoldman

      The Google Doodle Game is cute, and fun.

      Yeah, but I didn’t understand why the put it up the day after his birthday.

  • Turkle

    I had never seen that before. Hilarious!

  • Honoré De Ballsack

    Speaking as a longtime P.D.Q. Bach fan (so you know where I’m coming from): that was GENIUS!

    • MAJeff

      While PDQ Bach is excellent, I will always have a soft spot for Anna Russel.

      • Honoré De Ballsack

        She’s great too!

    • Richard Hershberger

      Yup. I would have expected this here:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzXoVo16pTg

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    could someone please explain the joke? my Beethoven starts with Chuck Berry and ends with Schroeder- which is not something I’m proud of, but there it is

    • Vance Maverick

      The tune is Colonel Bogey, with recognizably Classical-period elaboration.

      • Dave Empey

        Also, Moore mugs for the camera; and there’s the gag of sounding like it’s coming to an end, and then not ending, repeatedly.

        The linked 30-years-later version is funnier, imho.

        I never knew Moore could play piano.

        I wonder if the sheet music is available for that arrangement anywhere?

        • Vance Maverick

          Excessive endings are a real blight on Beethoven’s music (locus classicus: the awesome last movement of the 8th Symphony, with minutes of banging on at the end). I forgive it, but it’s a feature worth mocking.

          • Dave Empey

            I don’t think it’s just Beethoven. But I’m no expert.

            • Gregor Sansa

              Rossini overtures are the worst. 3 minutes music, 7 minutes building up to false endings.

              • Turkle

                “Most music ends long after it’s finished.” – Stravinsky

              • Vance Maverick

                In fairness, that’s the start of the opera rather than the end of the piece. But yes, it’s a goofy in concert.

            • Richard Hershberger

              It isn’t, but those other guys were imitating him. It is impossible to overstate his influence on 19th century music, for mostly good and occasionally bad.

              • mikeSchilling

                The Beatles are the worst. OK, “na na na na na na na”. We get it already.

                • mikeSchilling

                  And 4′33″ gets really repetitive after minute 3.

                • Stag Party Palin

                  A much delayed kudo to Mike Schilling. Well played, sir.

                  I attended a performance of 4’33” some time ago, and in front of me a gentleman wearing a hearing aid took it out and banged it on his knee about 2 minutes in. “It’s not working,” he complained.

                • efgoldman

                  And 4′33″ gets really repetitive after minute 3.

                  Last time I linked it, a couple of people fell for it.

        • Agreed about the more recent version (and the interview after). Unfortunately, whoever was in charge of sound thought the audience’s laughter needed to be really loud, and it distracts from the music.

        • TopsyJane

          Moore was an accomplished jazz and classical pianist and he also composed.His musical parodies were brilliant. My own favorites are his Brecht-Weill song and Peter Pears and Benjamin Britten in concert. (“Little Miss Muffet/Sat on her tuffet/Eating her curds/Eating her curds….and WHEEEYYYY.”) It’s funny even if you’re not familiar with the originals, but if you do know Pears’ vocal mannerisms and Britten’s musical ones it’s an absolute scream. (Pears was amused, Britten, notoriously sensitive in such matters, not so much.)

        • The Temporary Name

          Also, Moore mugs for the camera

          It’s a theatre piece, and it’s sandwiched between other sketches.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        thanks!

    • mikeSchilling

      He’s playing the Colonel Bogey March (what the soldiers whistle in Bridge on the River Kwai) in the style of Beethoven.

      • steverinoCT

        Mein Gott! I recognized the tune, naturally, but couldn’t name it, especially while he was playing. Drove me nuts through the whole performance.

  • mikeSchilling

    On the non-satirical side, Glenn Gould playing a Liszt transcription of the Pastoral Symphony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_8Y_8qthEI . It’s amazing.

    • Vance Maverick

      The Quartetto Italiano doing the slow movement of Op. 127.

    • efgoldman

      On the non-satirical side, Glenn Gould playing

      Some might say (and I’m among ’em) that Glenn Gould playing anything was a parody.

      • Jack Canuck

        OK, this inspired me to finally get around to registering to comment. Bite your tongue sir!

        Seriously, I get that Glenn Gould is a love him or hate him kind of situation. Me, I love him. I spent years as a younger person playing classical flute, worked for years in a sheet music store where I heard an awful lot of piano music, worked for more years in a classical (recorded) music store. I always thought I didn’t like classical piano. Then, on one of my shifts in the CD store, I put on Gould playing Bach’s French Suites. And I realised that it wasn’t that I didn’t like classical piano, it was that I didn’t like almost all classical pianists.

        But for me, there’s Gould and then there’s all the rest. Love his playing. Gould playing Bach is (for me) absolutely sublime.

        • mikeSchilling

          +100

          I usually prefer period instruments (or period sheep), but Gould transcends that.

        • efgoldman

          But for me, there’s Gould and then there’s all the rest.

          OK. you’re entitled. Some people like odd foods, too (but that’s another thread).
          I played in band, orchestra, brass choir, All State and Youth Symphony, Music Theory and Comp degree (so long ago that we wrote with India ink). 20 years+ producing classical records and on classical music radio. Gould always gave me a headache. But as I said, you’re entitled.

  • efgoldman

    Now this is musical parody first class with oak leaf clusters!

  • catbirdman

    Beethoven’s greatest triumph, perhaps, was getting people to say his name all cool. I mean, BEET-hoven sounds like a farmer in Iowa, and who’s going to get all dressed up for a night at the concert hall for that?

  • Bitter Scribe

    I’ve always been kind of indifferent to Moore as a comic actor. But holy shit, does he ever have chops as a pianist!

    I found that parody really funny. Only a supremely gifted pianist could have pulled it off.

  • efgoldman

    Nobody remembers Flanders & Swann anymore. Too bad.

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