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The Best Medicine

Can you guess this piece? Here's a hint: a kooky communist commotion...

This composer managed to escape the serious government attacks that had endangered the careers and perhaps even the lives of several of his peers. His distance from the more extreme forms of modernism made him less troublesome to the authorities, as did his passionate support for socially pragmatic music. Although this willing compliance distanced from many of his colleagues, he nevertheless was a passionate supporter of musical education. He composed many works for audiences of young people, such as this comedic, circus-inspired work.

Music Heard On This Episode

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809): STRING QUARTET NO. 30 IN Eb “THE JOKE”: Mvt. 4
Emerson String Quartet — The Haydn Project (Deutsche Grammaphon, 2001)
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Joseph Haydn (1732-1809): STRING QUARTET NO. 30 IN Eb “THE JOKE”: Mvt. 4
Emerson String Quartet — The Haydn Project (Deutsche Grammaphon, 2001)
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Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953): LOVE FOR THREE ORANGES: Card Game; March
Charles Dutoit/Montreal Symphony Orchestra — Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1 "Classical"; Lieutenant Kijé; The Love for Three Oranges (Umvd, 2004)
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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): CANTATA, BWV 110 Mvt. 1: “May our mouth be full of laughter”
John Eliot Gardiner/The Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists — Bach Cantatas, Vol. 14 (Soli Deo Gloria, 2005)
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Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840): CAPRICE NO. 13 IN Bb “THE DEVIL’S CHUCKLE”
Soovin Kim, violin — Niccolò Paganini: 24 Caprices (Azica, 2006)
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Peter Schickele (P. D. Q. Bach): CHACONNE Á SON GOUT
Jorge Mester/New York Pick-Up Ensemble — P.D. Q. Bach: Two Pianos Are Better Than One (Telarc, 1994)
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): DIVERTIMENTO, K. 522 “A Musical Joke”
Gunther Schuller/The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center — Mozart: Serenade K.361 - A Musical Joke K.522 (Arabesque Recordings, 2009)
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Charles Chaplin (1889-1977): FALLING STAR, THEME FROM ‘LIMELIGHT’
Thomas Beckmann, cello; Johannes Cernota, piano
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Kurt Weill (1900-1950): THE FIREBRAND OF FLORENCE: Life, Love, and Laughter
Rodney Gilfry, soloist; Andrew Davis/BBC Singers and Symphony Orchestra — The Firebrand of Florence (Capriccio, 2004)
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Henry Purcell (1659-1695): THE FAIRY QUEEN: The Scene of the Drunken Poet
Michael Schopper, Francine van der Heijden, Catherine Bott, soloists; Ton Koopman/Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir — Fairy Queen (Elektra, 1995)
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Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar: EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU
The Marx Brothers (Master Classics)
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Dmitri Kabalevsky (1904-1987): THE COMEDIANS, OP. 26: Galop, March, Waltz, Epilogue
Kiril Kondrashin/RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra — Khachaturian: Masquerade Suite; Kabalevsky: The Comedians; Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italien; Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnol (RCA, 1999)
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Qigang Chen (b. 1951): THREE BURSTS OF LAUGHTER
Ensemble Hua Xia — Three Images of Laughter (Hugo, 2004)
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Spike Jones and his City Slickers: DER FÜHRER’S FACE, NEVER HIT YOUR GRANDMA WITH A SHOVEL
Oliver G. Wallace (1st) and Felix Handemann (2nd) — Spike Jones - Greatest Hits (RCA, 1999)
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