All The Right Notes, Not Necessarily

Episodes

First
Broadcast
Comments
20060131

Classical musician and comedian Rainer Hersch profiles entertainers who have combined comedy in serious music.

1/4. In the first programme he meets and talks to American satirist Peter Schickele about his unique brand of classical music humour. As well as an internationally recognised composer, Schickele's alter ego, a professor of musicology has been unearthing and performing the 'lost' works of one PDQ Bach for over 40 years.

Afternoon

Morning

Evening

20060207

in the Right Order

Classical musician and comedian Rainer Hersch profiles entertainers who have combined comedy in serious music.

2/4. Rainer looks at the life and work of Anna Russell. Now 95 years old, she is famous for her analytical send up of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen.

Afternoon

Morning

Evening

20060214

in the Right Order

Classical musician and comedian Rainer Hersch profiles entertainers who have combined comedy in serious music.

3/4. Rainer recounts the story of The Comedian Harmonists, the German comedy singing sensation of the 1920s and 30s. An elegant sextet, five vocalists and a pianist all dressed in tails, the Comedian Harmonists had a repertoire that encompassed many vocal styles, ranging from folk songs to sentimental hits accompanied by banter and silliness on stage.

A national phenomenon in their day, The Harmonists were best known for their close harmony delivered with humour and style. Then Hitler came to power and the three Jewish members were banned.

Afternoon

Morning

Evening

20060221

in the Right Order

Classical musician and comedian Rainer Hersch profiles entertainers who have combined comedy in serious music.

4/4. Spike Jones - The Man Who Murdered Music

Rainer profiles the life and work of American big band musical comedian Spike Jones - one of the biggest stars of the 1940s and '50s whose career was launched in 1941 with a song that mocked Adolf Hitler - Der Furher's Face.

With his band The City Slickers, Spike was never averse to wearing wigs, playing toilet seats, or tuning gunshots to C-sharp. He mixed the high and the lowbrow, the serious and the comic, instrumental virtuosity and sonic hi-jinks into a blend that startled and delighted audiences in a much more innocent time. Rainer also talks to Spike Jones Jr about the life and work of his father.

Afternoon

Morning

Evening