The fun began last night in the Kennedy Center when the 14-man Netherlands Wind Ensemble, "appointed Royal Wind Ensemble to our Queen in 1948 when we were all child prodigies," reached the end of its printed program.
The quotation is taken from the remarks of the Netherlands music director who then told the audience that a phone call from the Hague had just brought word that Qeeen Juliana had abdicated in favor of her daughter, the Princess Beatrix. While some of the wind instruments were being discarded in favor of three violins, a viola, a pair of saxes, a tuba, a piano, and various percussion instruments the director proceeded, interrupted from time to time by his successor, "just apponted by the new queen."
"Now we play you music we used to play at 6 a.m. when we steal into the old queen's bedroom, to wake her up, whether Prince Bernhard was home yet or not." There followed hyped-up versions of Jean Francaix, a Czardas, in the manner of Danny Kaye, and something that kept slipping into "Camptown Races."
"And now we sing you slightly filthy song we used to sing for old queen at midnight in her bedroom, to put her to sleep. It is by Mozart, from 1788, called 'Bona Nox'." And sure enough, out came one of Mozart's most famous scatological canons. "Hard-core Mozart," the man called it.
Everybody in the crowd plays very well indeed, whether in straight Rossini, Krommer, Mozart, or Varese. Most of the audience, staying for the post-mortem, seemed to enjoy it even more.