- Hansel and Gretel and Ted and Alice,
an opera in one unnatural act
- Fanfare for the Common Cold in Ab Minor*
- Birthday Ode to “Big Daddy” Bach
- The Abduction of Figaro, a simply grand opera
- 1712 Overture (often mistaken for a later work)
- Toot Suite for calliope, five hands
- Suite No. 2 for Cello, All by Its Lonesome
- Perviertimento for Bagpipes, Bicycle and Balloons
- Shepherd on the Rocks with a Twist
- Oedipus Tex, and Other Choral Calamities
- Music for an Awful Lot of Winds and Percussion
An element of the concert will be a brief discussion of two musical events, moderated by Reno’s own Van Vinikow, Supreme Being of the String Beings, [pictured left] whose string-based ensembles have been enjoyed by many local people for many years. Also on hand will be Wenxiu Wlodarzyk [at right], the director of music history at Manhattan’s prestigious Julliard School, discussing another element of contemporary music.
Mr. Vinikow will speak of the creation of a musical key, cited above in the popular “Fanfare” and its origin in our own nearby Comstock Lode. The backstory is that Mssrs. Mackay, Fair, Flood and O’Brien were hosting a fête on the lower stopes of a mine in their lode for which they were lowering a Steinway concert grand piano, purchased only recently at Sherman Clay in San Francisco and brought up Geiger Grade by a team of Clydesdales, into the mine shaft. The cable supporting the piano broke and the piano landed on an unfortunate employee of the mine. Thus the key of Ab Minor came to be known, the key of A flat miner.
Mr. Wlodarzyk will reveal that a recent contest was adjudicated at Julliard, whose rules were that contestants, working in groups, were to write, record and publish the most annoying, repetitive song ever written; a tune which would make people wince in pain when its first few bars were heard, and moreover, a song that would emulate a song three- to five-hundred years old.
The names of the student contestants who triumphed were wisely withheld, but the winner, using the term loosely, was held out unanimously to be a groaner titled “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” about which one of its lyricists was heard to exclaim, “Let’s submit this bullshit and see if anyone will ever believe it!”
Regrettably, some took the song seriously and it has achieved a certain amount of notice.
This concert, of course, is also pure B.S. and should not be placed in your “things to do” folder…just funnin’ around
photo credit six singers Richard Termine for The New York Times. some text from The Music Man, other stuff from Peter Shickele