I love April Fools’ Day. A day to stop taking ourselves too seriously, which is certainly a problem in the world of classical music. So to help, here are a few videos of classical music pieces and performances on the lighter side.
1. Sir Malcolm Arnold: A Grand, Grand Overture – features vacuum cleaners, a floor polisher, guns & ammo. Who could ask for anything more?
2. Ernest Tomlinson: Fantasia on Auld Lang Syne – depending on who’s counting, this work features between 129-152 references to other pieces of classical and film music. How many can you count?
3. Charles Ives: Piano Trio, Op. 86: ii. “TSIAJ” – The title of this movement “TSIAJ” stands for “This Scherzo is a Joke,” which is a joke in and over itself, since “scherzo” means “joke.” Yes, Ives is saying “This joke is a joke.” And later he’ll tell you where to find an ATM machine.
4. Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 93: ii – It’s not roflmao funny, but Haydn does end the second movement of this symphony with a bassoon fart. And farts are funny. At least they were in fourth grade. (Jump to around 12:00-12:30ish for the flatulence.)
5. Gioachino Rossini: Duetto buffo di due gatti (“humorous duet for two cats”) – Okay, Rossini didn’t actually write this, but it’s been attributed to him because it uses themes from his opera Otello. Whatever. It’s two sopranos singing nothing but “meow” for three minutes. The internet ought to love this one.
6. Franz Reizenstein: Concerto Populare – If you know Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Grieg’s Piano Concerto in a minor, you’ll love this one.
7. Georges Bizet: Le docteur Miracle (Dr. Miracle): “Make Way For the Omelette” – Four opera singers singing about how great an omelette is.
8. Happy Birthday – Because it’s awesome.
9. W.A. Mozart: Leck mich im Arsch – I’ll let you guess what this means in English. Go ahead, sound it out…or Google it. (Make sure you include “Mozart” as one of your search terms, otherwise the results are very decidedly NSFW…or so I would imagine.) It’s Wolfy being kinky. That’s right, the same guy who wrote Ave Verum Corpus, wrote this.
I know I’ve left out lots of funny ones. If your favorite isn’t on this list, please leave me a link in the comments. I’d love to know what tickles your classical funny bone.