Hyperion Records

Beethoven Parody 'And the same to you'
composer

Recordings
'Piers Lane goes to town' (CDA67967)
Piers Lane goes to town
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Track 19 on CDA67967 [4'28]

Beethoven Parody 'And the same to you'
I was a little reluctant when in 2008 Rainer Hersch, the conductor and comic, contacted me about appearing in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall for a Comic Relief concert. It was to be just a couple of days after my return from a gruelling Australian tour and necessitated memorizing Dudley Moore’s Beethoven Parody, along with other more ‘normal’ musical excerpts, but also required me to dance on stage, to run through the audience and to participate in other antics that took me way out of my comfort zone. Something made me say yes. Since then the Beethoven Parody has become an anticipated encore at recitals and concerto performances in many parts of the world. I’ve even played it in such hallowed venues as London’s Wigmore Hall and Royal Festival Hall. Rainer transcribed the piece from two available You Tube performances given by Dudley Moore at different points in his career. One of them introduces a snatch of the ‘Moonlight’ Sonata, which Rainer included. I was concerned at first that I wouldn’t be able to convey the necessary humour—but Rainer assured me that all I had to do was play (albeit adding Dudley’s stare at the audience at the appropriate moment and a desperate look over the shoulder at one point), because the music is so funny on its own. And it seems he was right. The experience might be rather different on a studio recording, but nevertheless the endless false endings and cadences, the clever use of Beethoven’s favourite key of C minor, the unexpected use of ‘Colonel Bogey’ as a theme, and the typical Beethoven scales and chords all inevitably wring a wry smile at the very least. The version I play here is based not only on the transcription by Rainer Hersch, but also the version published as And the same to you, from The complete Beyond the fringe.

from notes by Piers Lane 2013

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