A Historical and Hysterical Guide to the Orchestra
A curious customer walks into a shop where the sounds of an orchestra are playing. Upon finally getting the shopkeeper’s attention, the customer asks:
- “I would love to be part of an orchestra.”
- “You’ve come to the right place.”
- “Which instrument would you like to play?”
- “Which one do you recommend?”
- “Ah, well, for that we have to go back to the beginning!”
- “Back to the beginning of the orchestra?”
- “No, back to the beginning of everything!
And so the Shopkeeper begins his fascinating guide to each and every instrument of the orchestra from its invention to its inclusion in the symphony. Along this time travelling journey, as each instrument is unveiled, we also discover about its historical context. Did you know that flutes used to be made of mammoth bone and vulture wings? Or that timpani used to be played on horses? And is it a coincidence that cellos were made fatter than violins just around the same time as chocolate was brought over to Europe from Mexico?
Packed with original music to showcase each instrument, well-researched historical facts, and the trademark goofiness of Igudesman & Joo, audiences and listeners of all ages will feel inspired to discover more about the orchestra.
The piece was commissioned and given its world premiere by the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich for their 150thAnniversary Celebration Concert.
What others say
Los Angeles Times
“Describing the Igudesman & Joo humor in detail would be to deflate its brilliance. For the put-upon Igudesman, think Jack Benny and Jascha Heifetz rolled into one. For the zany Joo, try an unholy Chico Marx, Vladimir Horowitz and Jerry Lewis mash-up […] The Igudesman & Joo anthem is Gloria Gaynor’s ‘70s hit song “I Will Survive.” Igudesman begins it as if singing a Russian folk song, and he electrifies it by playing on the violin strings with an electric swizzle stick (on a priceless 1717 Santo Seraphin violin, no less). Ultimately, it survives – barely and hilariously — as an unclassifiable audience sing‐along. But the idea of surviving is also a serious business with these two miraculous performers“
“Having had the great pleasure to have shared a stage with my friends Aleksey Igudesman and Hyung-ki Joo, I can tell you that even from up-close they are the real thing.They are extremely funny, very original, and highly-skilled musicians to boot. Their mix of classical music and comedy is absolutely unique”.
The New York Times
“Their blend of classical music and comedy, laced with pop culture references and a wholly novel take on the word slapstick, is fueled by genuine, dazzling virtuosity.”