"The Preachers of Crimetheus," S. 988, S. 988

Ballet in One Selfless Act

P.D.Q. Bach

Edited by Prof. Peter Schickele
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Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

The only separate ballet score by P.D.Q. Bach so far discovered, The Preachers of Crimetheus was written for the Ballet de Monte Python and performed by them in desultory fashion (a particularly apt phrase, since the costumes were designed by de Sultory himself). The first movement depicts two different kinds of chaos (slow chaos and fast chaos), intended to indicate the state of affairs in the Crimea before the arrival of Christianity. The second movement (which features, in addition to the solo tromboon, the mouthpieces of the three trombones being played without the rest of the instrument) is given over to the lamentations of an early believer named Jerry Maja, who was, incidentally, a direct ancestor of the naked Maja painted so daringly, and well, too, by Goya. In the last movement, and not a movement too soon, the preachers themselves arrive. There are seven of them: Ducky, Runny, Whiney, Hyper, Iffy, Honky and Catatonic.

The Finale is in the form of a them and variations, and if the statement of the theme rings a faint bell in your memory, don?t be alarmed: P.D.Q. stole it, without a twinge of conscience, from Beethoven?s Eroica Symphony (the slight changes were undoubtedly due to the younger composer?s inability to remember how what he was stealing from went). But P.D.Q. Bach was not as dumb as some people think he was. He had a motto: if you?re going to steal a theme, steal it from a composer who is deaf.

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Additional Information

Duration 00:13:00
Editor Schickele, Prof. Peter
Orchestration 3(Picc.) 2 2 2 - 2 2 3 1; Timp. 2Perc. Devious Instruments, Str.

Details

I Prologue (Bottomless Sorrow; Topless Gaiety)
II The Lamentations of Jerry Maja
III Finale: Special Deliverance