Below is a late-night-style infomercial for an imaginary compilation of Twelve-Tone Greatest Hits. Ljova and Felsenfeld sent it simultaneously; it's been racing around the Internet, although references to Reggie Jackson and Idi Amin suggest that it's a couple of decades old. Yes, it's cruel, and most of the examples aren't actually twelve-tone music, but you vill laugh anyway. If anyone wants to take credit for the prank, or wants me to desist in publishing it, I will oblige.Update: An informed reader guesses that this is the work of long-time Cleveland radio host Robert Conrad, president of WCLV and host of that station's Weekend Radio show.
Further update: Mr. Conrad writes, kindly granting me permission to keep the file online. The spot was concocted as an April Fool's joke in 1977. Kenneth Jean, then assistant conductor for the Cleveland Orchestra, wrote the script; Conrad announced it in the style of the K-Tel ads that were everywhere at the time; and Matthias Bamert, then resident conductor in Cleveland, participated in the production. The notion of an "International Matthias Bamert Society" was a long-running in-house gag at WCLV that also produced such fictitious masterpieces as Construction for Erector Set, Symphonies of Kazoos, and the song "Get Off the Locomotive, Mother, Even If You Are On a Toot." Until now Bamert was known to me not as a Hoffnung-style comedian but as the conductor of several fine recordings of the music of Frank Martin. He now leads the Malaysian Philarmonic and the West Australian Symphony. I hope they get his sense of humor. A couple of discographic notes: the superb Lulu death-shriek is delivered by Evelyn Lear, while the monstrously slow rendition of the 11/4 bar in Stravinsky's Rite comes courtesy of the dulcet baton of Lorin Maazel — an in-joke for Cleveland listeners.