Fiddles in snow

Girls und Panzer is on Crunchyroll, and I have the discs as well. However, for the eighth episode I always watch the fansub. One of the highlights of the franchise is the Russian team singing “Katyusha.” Thanks to imbecilic copyright laws, the song is missing from the American edition of the show.1

There are many recordings of the tune available, though none suggest tank girls in snow. I recently discovered that Alexey Igudesman, of Igudesman & Joo, composed a set of variations on “Katyusha” for solo violin. Here’s a performance by Irina Pak.

Not familiar with Igudesman & Joo? Here’s an introduction. If you don’t have time for the whole thing, skip to the Rachmaninoff section starting at around 40 minutes. There’s plenty more on YouTube.

Before there were I&J, there was P.D.Q. Bach. Peter Schickele is still making discoveries, such as the Concerto for Simply Grand Piano and Orchestra.2 Here’s a performance with Jeffrey Biegel. While Biegel is certainly up to the technical demands, he’s not quite enough of a large ham to make the performance convincing. Perhaps with a bushy beard and another 50 pounds he could pull it off.


  1. The disc of the Girls und Panzer der Film arrived just as my Blu-Ray player quit working, and I haven’t had a chance to play it yet. The new player arrives tomorrow, and if I find that the “Säkkijärven Polkka” is missing, I will be angry.
  2. I saw Schickele in concert years ago, during which he played an earlier piano concerto. I was in a balcony high above the stage, armed with a pair of binoculars. I was able to not only identify the particular issue of Playboy he read during the concert, but also to spot the Batman comic underneath it in the piano.