A collection of humorous pieces for Cello in with piano accompaniment. Easy to Advanced Level
La Cucaracha (Mexico)
"La Cucaracha" (Spanish: "The Cockroach") is a traditional Spanish folk corrido that became popular in Mexico during the Mexican Revolution. It tells the story of a cockroach that is unable to walk. It is one of the most familiar melodies of Spanish origin, popularised in versions by numerous singers and through appearances in movies such as "A Bug's Life" and "Cars 2."
Dvořák's Op. 101 Humoresques (literally a pluralised form of "Humorous") is a collection of 8 works for piano. The seventh is one of the most famous of all piano works. In the US its humorous nature was reinforced though its use as a setting for humorous verses regarding passenger train toilets, with the words "Passengers will please refrain from flushing toilets while the train is standing still within the stationhouse."
Saint-Saens - The Elephant from Carnival of the Animals
"The Elephant" is the fifth movement from Saint-Saens beloved suite "Carnival of the Animals." Marked "Allegro pomposo", it uses the double bass, one of the lowest-sounding members of the orchestra, to characterise the lumbering heft of the pachyderm. There is also a double joke—the theme is taken from works by Mendelssohn and Berlioz, in their original form written for lighter instruments (flutes, violins etc.), emphasising the comical effect in their transference to the larger instrument.
Rossini - Miau, Miau, Miau - Duetto Buffo di due Gatti (Comic Duet for Two Cats)
The "Duetto buffo di due gatti" ("Humorous duet for two cats") is a popular performance piece for two sopranos which is often performed as a concert encore. The "lyrics" consist entirely of the repeated word "miau" ("meow"). Sometimes it is also performed by a soprano and a tenor, or a soprano and a bass.
While the piece is typically attributed to Gioachino Rossini, it was not actually written by him, but is instead a compilation written in 1825 that draws principally on his 1816 opera, Otello. Hubert Hunt putatively claims that the compiler was Robert Lucas de Pearsall, who for this purpose adopted the pseudonym "G. Berthold".
The Pizzicato Polka is a piece of orchestral music by Johann Strauss II published in 1870. Strauss composed it with his brother Josef in 1869 for a trip to Imperial Russia. The polka was written for string orchestra and glockenspiel. It was hugely popular, especially in Italy, where it was included on every program Strauss played there. The piece consists of four melodies and the work is arranged in ternary form (A-B-A). As the title suggests, the piece is scored for plucked strings.
"Entry of the Gladiators" is a military march composed in 1897 by the Czech composer Julius Fučík. He originally titled it "Grande Marche Chromatique," reflecting the use of chromatic scales throughout the piece, but changed the title based on his personal interest in the Roman Empire.
In 1910 Canadian composer Louis-Philippe Laurendeau arranged "Entrance of the Gladiators" for a small band under the title "Thunder and Blazes" and sold this version throughout North America. It was during this period that the song gained lasting popularity as a screamer march for circuses, often used to introduce clowns. Today it is known mainly by this association, even though the title and composer are relatively obscure. Laurendeau's version was also transcribed for fairground organs.
Sullivan - I am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General
"I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General" (often referred to as the "Major-General's Song" or "Modern Major-General's Song") is a patter song from Gilbert and Sullivan's 1879 comic opera The Pirates of Penzance. It is sung by Major-General Stanley at his first entrance, towards the end of Act I. The song satirises the idea of the "modern" educated British Army officer of the latter 19th century. It is one of the most difficult patter songs to perform, due to the fast pace and tongue-twisting nature of the lyrics.
Rossini - Largo al factotum della citta (Barber of Seville)
"Largo al factotum" ("Make way for the factotum") is a humorous aria from "The Barber of Seville" by Gioachino Rossini, sung at the first entrance of the title character; the repeated "Figaro"s before the final patter section are an icon in popular culture of operatic singing. The term "factotum" refers to a general servant and comes from the Latin where it literally means "do everything."
Mozart's "A Musical Joke" K.522 is a divertimento for two horns and string quartets written in 1787. The music is intentionally written to be funny, being liberally sprinkled with obtrusively clumsy, mechanical and over-repetitive composition, together with passages evidently designed to mimic the effects of inaccurate notation and inept performance. In the UK the music was well-known for its use in the BBC's "Horse of the Year" programme.
Haydn - String Quartet Op. 33. No 2 The Joke - 4th mvt
Haydn's String Quartet, Op. 33 No.2 derives its nickname "The Joke" from the conclusion of the fourth moment. It begins with a grand pause that makes the audience wonder if the piece is over. This is followed by a sudden forte (marked "Adagio") that shocks the audience. After this, the first violin plays the A theme of the opening phrase with rests interrupting the music every two bars. The rests get progressively longer, giving the impression that the piece is over many times in a row, after which the music ends abruptly with a repeat of half of the movement's opening phrase, leaving the work hanging in mid-air.
Sullivan - Three Little Maids (from the Mikado)
"The Mikado," a comic opera in two acts, was the ninth operatic collaboration between librettist W.S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan. It is one of the most popular music theatre works written, running for 672 performances from its opening in 1885 at the Savoy Theatre and widely performed to this day. Perhaps the most beloved number in the work is the first act comic trio "Three Little Maids," ironic given that it was nearly cut from the original production, the cast successfully begging for it to be reinstated.
One of the most popular marches from the 'Pied Piper of Patriotism', this piece apparently earned the composer over $40,000 in the first seven years after publication. It was famously used as the title music for Monty Python's Flying Circus.