Sierra Chamber Society
April Fools Program 2001
George Amadeus Machetsky (1770 – 1827)
Sonata No.5 in C Minus for Violin and Piano, Op. 824 (1901)I Allegretto fettucine
II Andante al dente
III Marcia: Triumphe di Caesar salade
IV Rondo: Transportare in barca
Oswald Spengler, violin Yo Moma, piano
H. Pfitzner (1777 – 1953)
Quartet for Stumpy Fingers "Moribundus" (Op. Posth.)
I Mit Angina
II Molto Peristaltico
IV Ich Haße Jederman (I Hate Everybody)
Jimmy Page, violin Robert Planet, violin
Paul McCartney, viola Larß Ulricht, percussion and artillery
Carlo Manicotti, Jr. (1998 – )
Sextet for Five Pink Balloons Op. 1 (2001)
I Distencio con gadzosso
II Nippiletto e ticci tacco
III A la flatto ragazzo
Haywood Jabuzzoff, balloon Ginger Vitus, balloon
Rose Hips, balloon Placebo Domingo, helium tank
Anon O'Mous (TBA)
Sonate for Klavier unt Sumptink Elße "The Indistiguishable" (Last Week)
IV As always programs subject to change
Peter B. Trill, piano Natalie Attired, Something Else
The History of Fuguemasters
Die Pfügemeisters: Ein Historisches Kliptigge
(Fuguemasters: The Short History)
Herr Döktor Hans Pfitzner, Pf. Pf., Pflgm. D., DSCH, Kammermüsiches Übermensch, Schvitzmacher, Pfügemeister Originalisches, Pfounder opf die Seerisberg Kammermusik Socialischtiches (SCS), first enunciated the time-honored watchword of Sierra Chamber Society in the days of Buxtehüde: "Drei Organisches, Frei Bubishches Tubishches: Kammermusik Verkachte, Neu Rechetige Holtihrehorschiches. ("3 Organs, DSCH TV included in every room: No Fugue So Screwed Up We Can’t Fix It While you Wait.")
Pfitzner’s proud promise is still on display above the marbled portals of the original Pfügemeisters, aka Die Gütt Geies, to be found at 23 Haupt Klutzfresser, Hündtwaßer, Musicalisches Drollerisches Districht, Wien (www.pfügemeisters.com). The original shoppe was exhumed over international objection after more than a century of containment in cement following the infamous nuclear melt-down of ’01 at the Eislandeßches Drei Kilometre Danubeße. In latter days, it was converted to a Piet’s Wiener Kaffeklatch (aka Koffee Annum). Now, at last, after monumental efforts on its behalf by Chamber Music Societies everywhere, it has been lovingly restored to its original condition, including 3 hydraulic lifts. Herr Döktor Pfitzner was the first to apply the oscilloscope and vacuum to fugal realignment.
Although his influences are obscure, Pfitzner descends in an unsteady line from Telemann and Buxtehüde. He was fond of inscribing his works with the cryptic anagram, ‘APHDSTWÜ,’ later discovered by Pfitzner’s own Boswell, Fr. Guenter Rectanus, F.O.B., to mean ‘All the Pedals Held Down and Suction Turned Way Üp.’ Fr. Rectanus discovered that these directions originated in Buxtehüde’s annotations for the performance of his 603 Largo Sonatas for Organ and Drone, traditionally played without interruption at public hangings. Like Pfitzner, Buxtehüde inscribed APHDSTWÜ on every page in lemon juice, a fact that came to light only when the last surviving manuscript was burned by an angry mob protesting Buxtehüde’s induction into the Pfügemeisters Halle der Berümdtheit, several years after his death from meningoencephalitis.*
In the high Baroque, under Pfitzner’s successor, Karl vas Wieck, Die Pfügemeisters franchised itself all over Europe, to England, France and Italy, making fugue writing everywhere a pastime, as popular as cross-word puzzles. But fugues were never easy, and everyone got stuck. Even Bach visited the local Saltzburg outlet when he was stumped. He’d leave a set of preludes overnight, and in the morning, voila, fugues to match. Art of the Fugue? Straight out of Die Pfügemeisters’ factory manual!
Shoppe rules were clear. No one had to ask. It was understood. "Nein Schirtes, Nein Birkes, Nein Wirkes (No shirt, no shoes, no service!)…Geldt Gedichtiches, Neiman gein Gesündterheit (Money talks, nobody walks!)…" Those of their day leading bovine growth hormone-free lives and cello-huggers in particular appreciated the Pfügemeister pledge: "Pfügen Dauphinisches unt netzen genichte! Nein immer pfüge einen animalisches schmerzidig. (Our fugues are dauphin safe, line caught and cruelty free!)
In the Seventeen Hundred’s, there was a Pfügemeister on every corner. Cheery shoppe technicians greeted customers in their signature silk smoking jackets with the smily-face pocket patches that said "Heil there. Ist bein Heinz! Jügatz Pfügen nicht Verklartz? Ich gotz der schmartz!" The lines were out the door and around the corner. You might meet Vivaldi himself waiting his turn (there were then only Three Seasons), or Handel when, at one point, he was famously blocked. As the story goes, it was Wieck he had in mind when he called his great Oratorio The Messiah.
In France, the line was not especially successful, however, due to the French appetite for frilly little dances like the Courante and Bouree, and especially the silly Pavane, during a performance of which the French Baroque composer Lully put a conductor’s staff through his shoe resulting in a nasty wound that got infected with gas gangrene and eventually lead to his own death. Wieck, no lover of Froggies, liked to point out, "Niemand ist einen Pfüge gestorben. (A fugue never killed anybody.)
Rameau and Couperin turned up their pince nez at Pfitzner and his descendants. Rectanus actually shot and seriously wounded Rameau in a duel, fought over the wearing of a pink garter during the premiere of Pfitzner’s Dour Cycle of string quartets, each in five movements marked ‘Molto molto.’ Rectanus’ second in the duel was none other than Mozart, whom Wieck had himself once rescued from a dry patch, lasting nearly fifteen minutes between ages eleven and twelve.
Die Pfügemeisters passed on to the celebrated bon vivant, Bruno Heinz Aldo (B.H.A.) "Ha Ha" Jaja, who sustained it during the difficult struggles of the Romantic Period. Ever the practical joker, Jaja got even for bad business by convincing the likes of Brahms to burn his first fifteen symphonies and forty string quartets: "Ach, tink of Herr Beethoven unt his magneeficent verks, you pfat pfraud, unt you veal know vut you must do!"
During the Twelve Tone period, when Vienna fell under the influence of Berg and especially Schoenberg, Pfügemeisters almost went belly up. Shoppes shut down all over the continent. It was the dark night of the chamber music soul. Pfügemeisters wandered the streets in a fugue state, went begging on streetcorners bearing tidings of chamber music doom: "Das ende ist nieren! Repenten di Cadenzen!" Shoppe technicians in shirtsleeves sat idle at their darkened oscilloscopes tossing crumpled pages of Grove’s Musical Dictionary at each other, and cursing the world out of N. Slonimsky’s Tagebüche Invektiv Musicalisches. Max Reger, whom vas Wieck, anticipating Freud, described on his deathbed as "Bach in hip waders," was about all the work they could get.
In modern times, the Socialischtegge Kammermeschugennes (SCS) finds itself under the stewardship of Herr Döktor Pfitzner’s successors, Hrrn. Grigor mas Mahnein, Reichert G.L. Geittonne, Josepfus Weie and ßtieffel von Kabalerchik. Pfugemeisters has gone digital. Right from home, you can get your sorriest fugues straightened out for free in strictest confidence at the Pfügemeister website, www.fuguemasters.com/scs.html, reply guaranteed within 24 hours. While you’re there you can put in a bid on the upcoming Pfügemeister IPO that’s generating such a panic on Wall Street.
The shows, you must agree, are better than ever, "Mit Frei pastreiche ab intermißien, on erde Sobeit as inne Himmel," one can only wonder at what lies ahead. You can be sure that, whatever else, at Pfügemeisters you'll always get "Mehr Kammermusik fuer Ihre Kammermusik Pfennig! (More chamber music bang for your chamber music buck!)"
* Buxtehude didn't listen to his grandmother, who warned him against squeezing a pimple in the "devil's triangle," described by lines connecting the corners of the mouth and the spot between the eyebrows. The infection, of course, rocketed to Buxtehude's brain. Gramps in the TV series, Lassie, died of the same cause, by the way.
From the original German in
Gesundheit! Die Furst Drei Hünerdtieren Pfügemeisters
by Pfitzner scholar and time traveler, Baldric Dorknokker, S. J.
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All original text on this page copyright 2002 by Richard A. Gylgayton and Stevan Cavalier