I had no idea the man possessed such talent

Moore (at left, at keyboard) et al., in 1963, during their "Beyond the Fringe" days...

Moore (at left, at keyboard) et al., in 1963, during their “Beyond the Fringe” days…

Phillip Bush — who we all know does possess such talent — brought this to my attention today. I had no idea Dudley Moore was so gifted. I know him mainly for his silly comedy work of the 1970s:


In case you missed this obvious bit of mastery, Phillip helps you appreciate it better:

Yes, just what I was thinking, about three minutes into it.

Anyway, thought I’d share that with you. I’ll post something else soon. Might tell you something about my time in the hospital last week.

5 thoughts on “I had no idea the man possessed such talent

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Thanks, Sally — but let’s not get overexcited.

      I’m about the same. Just figured I’d better post something. And Phillip made it easy…

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    Man, just from the start, he’s doing a left hand trill, super evenly, then crossing hands, which caused brain freeze when I first tried it….

  2. Pat

    Wow! I’m no pianist, nor a musician of any kind, but it seemed to me Dudley Moore owned that piece!

  3. Phillip

    The thing that always amazes me about these piano bits is not just Dudley Moore’s really A-level playing or even the spot-on-ness of his lampooning (the Beethovenian musical devices are all there, the modulations, the hand-crossings, the motoric left hand figuration, and the endless I-V-I-V-I-V-I ad infinitum ending-that-won’t-ever-end, which kinda happens at the end of Beethoven 5th Symphony), but the fact that a general comedy audience would have had enough exposure to classical music to laugh at some of the more subtle musical jokes. Of course the Colonel Bogey reference would have been quite fresh in the British audience’s ears (Bridge on the River Kwai just a few years before).

    But it’s Moore’s sendups of more obscure stuff, especially a mock-Benjamin Britten song (setting the words of Little Miss Muffat) as rendered by the tenor Peter Pears (a frequent Britten collaborator), or Kurt Weill/Bertolt Brecht, and the assumption that the audience could get the jokes, that amazes me today. Sure, Britten was the most prominent living British classical composer at that time, but it’s hard to imagine anybody in US today (or anywhere for that matter) doing a comedy bit riffing on a contemporary classical composer.

    The closest we had to that in recent years was in the very early (maybe even first season?) South Park days, with their “happy, non-offensive, non-denominational Christmas play with music by Philip Glass”.

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