Monday, March 30, 2009

The School of Diversionary Nomenclature

Uncle Dave Lewis alerts us to this excerpt from a 1964 interview with composer Alec Wilder (1907-1980). Lewis points out that it "includes a mention of RS, not to mention a snappy piece that could almost pass for something by RS."

The work, "Jack, This is My Husband," was recorded by Wilder's Octet. Besides musical parallels, Wilder shared Scott's penchant for idiosyncratic instrumental titles (discussed in the interview excerpt). His compositions include "The Amorous Poltergeist," "Her Old Man Was Suspicious," and "Neurotic Goldfish." He was also not above titular puns, such as "Bassooner or Later" and "Little White Samba."


  1. wow, great stuff...

    that's a brand new discovery for me, thanks for the post!

  2. Wilder and Scott: two men of integrity and innovation. Thanks for the link to my site! You'll find many more of the Octets posted there, and tons of other great material!

    One minor correction: The interview excerpt is actually from a 1964 Wilder appearance on Studs Terkel's radio show.

    Cool blog!


  3. Rob: I corrected the date, and appreciate your calling the error to our attention. Another parallel between the two composers: says that "to many classical critics [Wilder] was not to be taken very seriously." Scott met with plenty of derision for his novelty adaptations of classical themes and was accused by some critics of "trivializing the classics."