THE DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF P. D. Q. BACH by Peter Schickele

THE DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF P. D. Q. BACH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This little-known figure has become familiar to New York audiences over the last fifteen-odd years through Professor Schickele's dedicated performances of such forgotten masterpieces as Iptugenia in Brooklyn and the Concerto for Horn and Hardart (in the rarely heard key of r(diamond)). P.D.Q., who was said by Handel's cook to have known no more counterpoint than Gluck, emerges as a complex and touching figure in this deftly calibrated study--the unwanted twenty-first child of the great Sebastian, forced from the age of ten to make whatever living carpentry, merchant seamanship, freeloading, and general incompetence could secure him. Schickele's brilliant analysis of the Zahnstocher-Archduke von Trio affair makes one marvel that the man lived to compose what he did--but, as Alma Mahler once remarked, you can't win 'em all. Though Schickele slights P.D.Q.'s vital role in the later early technology of the Mannheim rocket, this lavishly illustrated work generally does as much justice to the age as to the man. Roughly alphabetical index, annotated catalogue of P.D.Q.'s works, and a set of useful appendices including an illuminating technical analysis of the Two-Part Contraption in C Major, from the Notebook for Betty Sue Bach.

Pub Date: April 23rd, 1976
Publisher: Random House