by Daniel Hathaway
Because it usually takes itself so seriously, classical music is a sitting duck for parody and satire. But the art form also has a divinely installed funny bone that allows its artists to lampoon themselves and their craft, even while producing high quality performances.
This humor can take many forms, from the deadpanning of that great Dane, Victor Borge (while unwrapping and eating a sandwich between solo passages in a concerto), and the plummy but wicked commentary of Anna Russell (particularly on Wagner), to the down-home musicological wackiness of Peter Shickele, often accompanied by his favorite prop, the bassoon.
Violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Richard Hyung-ki Joo, who originally met over a plate of fish and chips at England’s Yehudi Menuhin School, jack up the game significantly with slapstick and athleticism. [Read more…]