The Kennedy Center

1712 Overture for Really Big Orchestra, S. 1712

About the Work

 P.D.Q. BACH Composer: P.D.Q. BACH
© Richard Freed

Commissioned by the Boston Pops for its centenary, this work was given its premiere under John Williams at Symphony Hall on April 10. 1985. The instrumentation, unusual for 1712, includes a trolley bell, two cowbells, a bird whistle, a desk bell, a duck call, cuckoo call, mouth siren, and a total of 13 balloons which are "played" with an ice pick. Beyond this basic background, Professor Schickele will preface the performance of this remarkable piece with a rundown of the little-known part of Bach lore that extended to a presence in the New World.