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Thread: Comical music

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    Moderator Huilunsoittaja's Avatar
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    Default Comical music

    Do you have favorite classical music works that make you laugh? Would you purposefully listen to something to make you laugh?
    Last edited by Huilunsoittaja; Jul-20-2010 at 16:14.
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    At first sight, for some awkward reason, I thought the topic is "Chemical music"; I was thrilled. But after putting my glasses on... Ah, another one...

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    Senior Member Earthling's Avatar
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    A good deal of Erik Satie...
    At last to guess, instead of always knowing. To be able to say “ah” and “oh” and “hey” instead of “yea” and “amen. ” ~ Wings of Desire

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    Shostakovich - Hypothetically Murdered

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    Moderator Huilunsoittaja's Avatar
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    For me, Prokofiev. Always. Hilarious stuff.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsyBc...eature=related
    "Before I became the director [of the St. Petersburg Conservatory] I knew the treble clef and the bass clef, now I know the wrench too." - Glazunov
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    Senior Member SuperTonic's Avatar
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    The first few bars of the 2nd movement of Shostakovich's 1st symphony always brings a smile to my face for some reason. It sounds like a race between the cellos and basses, and the basses lose.

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    I don't like "funny" music, this characteristic grotesque of XXth century composers is kewl, but when I hear all those scherzos with silly tunes and stuff I can't stand it.

    There are some accidentaly funny, to my ear only, fragments in serious works by some of composers that for some (often strange) reasons make me laugh.

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    Malcolm Arnold FTW

    Grand Grand Overture - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5343nfOnkk
    That video is actually inadvertantly funny simply because of the sheer pompousness of it.

    Or if you want to seriously laugh: Portsmouth Sinfonia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpJ6anurfuw

    - The first time I heard that I was in tears.

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    Senior Member Earthling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jules141 View Post
    Or if you want to seriously laugh: Portsmouth Sinfonia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpJ6anurfuw

    - The first time I heard that I was in tears.
    Oh yes! And THIS one too...

    I almost forgot: Mozart's A Musical Joke is full of bizarre "errors" that really are hilarious (not just the really obvious ones-- some of the phrase lengths and cadences are so funny!)
    At last to guess, instead of always knowing. To be able to say “ah” and “oh” and “hey” instead of “yea” and “amen. ” ~ Wings of Desire

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    Senior Member Meaghan's Avatar
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    The whole "Pyramus and Thisbe" sequence in the third act of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream is a hilarious parody of 19th Century Italian opera. Particularly funny is the bitonal "O wall, full often hast thou heard my moans." I highly recommend this whole opera to anyone who has never heard it

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    It's very rare that music will actually make me laugh, but there can be details here and there that give me a little chuckle.

    One piece I find humorous is Rachmaninov's piano transcription of Kreisler's Liebesfreud, which is basically because of the "clash of styles". Rachmaninov takes the charming little, "easy listening" piece by Kreisler and adds his own more advanced harmonies, bombastic and virtuosic, sometimes "rough" style to it. I can't say for sure if the humour is intentional, but I get the feeling that it is.

    There's also a piano piece by Satie (from Embryons Desseches) that when the final tonic chord comes and it sounds like the piece is over, he just keeps the tonic chords coming for a while. You can tell he's playing around with people's expectations and making fun of the "emphatic" way a lot of classical music ends. The fact that the piece itself is short doesn't help.

    Another humorous, "tongue in cheek" moment is when Debussy uses the opening motive from Tristan und Isolde in the middle section of Golliwog's Cakewalk (Children's Corner).

    Oh, and the ending of the first movement from Poulenc's Piano Concerto (not the one for two pianos). The surprise twist at the end sounds like it's as far away from the tonic you can get..
    Last edited by Norse; Jul-31-2010 at 21:46.

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    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    There's lots and lots of funny classical music.

    J. S. Bach's Coffee and Peasant Cantatas.
    Haydn's "Surprise" Symphony
    Mozart's The Magic Flute
    The Turkish march section of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9
    Strauss' Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks
    Glenn Gould's "So You Want to Write a Fugue."
    and of course Peter Schickele's work, especially the "Unbegun" Symphony.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jules141 View Post
    Malcolm Arnold FTW

    Grand Grand Overture - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5343nfOnkk
    That video is actually inadvertantly funny simply because of the sheer pompousness of it.
    That one is interesting, it really has everything but the kitchen sink. Though, it is not that out of place for Arnold. Give Commonwealth Christmas Overture a try and tell me if you don't hear any unexpected, but more conventional, instruments.
    Op. 109

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    The Nose by Shostakovich is a truly bizarre and wacky opera;it's been described as the "Wozzeck of comic opera". It's totally insane and a blast! I've been listening to the brilliantGergiev/Maryinsky recording on the Maryinsky label.
    Nielsen's comic opera Maskarade is also great fun in a more jolly way than the Shostakovivh opera. Don't miss the Da Capo DVD of it. You'll have ball !
    Prokofiev's comic opera The Love For Three Oranges is also delightfully wacky, and it seems to anticipate Monty Python by decades !
    Dvorak's comic opera The Devil and Kate is delightfully droll; it was written around the time of the more famous tragic opera Rusalka, and is its comic counterpart. It features a devil who isn't frightening at all,but a total wimp!

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    A lot of prokofiev I do find highly ironic.

    The 2nd movement of Shostakovich's 5th Symphony, it ends on such a sarcastic mood that dispels any notion of seriousness heard earlier.

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