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Plink, Plank, Plunk!

Composed for string orchestra, Plank, Plank, Plunk! was completed on June 12, 1951. It is 3 minutes and 20 seconds long. It was first performed when recorded by the composer on June 29, 1951, in analog mono sound. It was re-recorded in analog stereo sound by the composer on May 28, 1959. First known public performance on November 11, 1951 with the composer conducting the Kansas City (Missouri) Philharmonic Orchestra.

Composer Quotes: "Although I started my career as an organist, later on I played mainly Bass in orchestras. For everyone writing orchestras pieces, playing a string instrument is an excellent experience, since one acquires a valuable technical knowledge of the most important part of the orchestra. As a bass player I got first hand knowledge of the resources of a string orchestra and became particularly interested in the use of the Pizzicato, which is very often neglected by composers. As an example of how one can use the Pizzicato I wrote a little piece with the title "Plink, Plank, Plunk!" The string players have to lay down their bows and from the beginning to the end of the piece, pluck the strings of their instruments."


Question: How long do you spend on one composition?

Anderson: " That varies, all the way probably from a day or two days to three or four years. I say three or four years because, because I've got one idea and one title that I've had around for three or four years, I've tried to write the music to go with it and I haven't done it yet, because I haven't been able to get it satisfactory. But it all depends on how it works out. Sometimes it comes very easily. I remember "Plink, Plank, Plunk!" was easy to do. I had to remember that because I had a deadline, I was going to record the second album and I had two or three weeks to go and there was an eighth of a side yet to be done, and I got the idea of the title and it didn't take me too long after that to finish it up. But others I've kept around, and then changed. "Fiddle-Faddle" I spent four months on and I rewrote four times; the one you know is actually the fourth one, and three other versions before that. Unless I'm really convinced about it, I don't put anything out, but wait around and mull it over a week or two, and then you go back to it again fresh, and if you're still enthusiastic about it, fine, but if you're not, you'd better not put the thing out and let other people not be enthusiastic about it. You should catch it yourself. In other words, you have to be your own worst critic, and doing that, it may take quite some length of time before you actually get a composition finished up."