Revue d Cuisine - Today's Dance Party Free Download from Ensemble Monterey

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Bohuslav Martinu is definitely one of my favorite "unknown" composers. He was a Czech (1890 - 1959) violinist and composer who had the incomparable experience of hanging out in Paris during the 1920's. Revue d Cuisine is not a restaurant review, as it may sound, but in fact a revue of the favorite dance crazes of 1927, when it was composed. It was intended a a little ballet of kitchen utensils. Here's the plot as sit appears in Wikipedia:

The marriage of Pot and Lid is in danger of being broken up by the suave Twirling Stick. Pot succumbs to his flattery. Dishcloth makes eyes at Lid but is challenged to a duel by Broom. Pot, however, tires of Twirling Stick and longs for Lid's caresses, but Lid cannot be found anywhere. Suddenly an enormous foot appears from the wings and kicks him back on stage. Pot and Lid kiss and make up and, flirting once again, Twirling Stick goes off with Dishcloth.

You can immediately discern the seriousness of purpose at work here, and it is completely reflected in the hilarious music. Just to throw the dancers off a little Martinu writes in off-balance Eastern European rhythms where one bar can have 2 beats and the next only 1 and a half. Each movement is a parody of itself. My hands down favorite is the "Charleston," but don't tell the other movements. We have played this very "playful" piece many times and I have to lock it away to keep from programing it every season. There is lots more Martinu where this came from and if you are a long-time Ensemble Monterey fan you know that his compositions have a way of sneaking into our offerings.

Until Friday - Your's in Music - John Anderson