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Thursday, April 01, 2004

Chicken Poop Story #1: Upon Discovering Beethoven's Tenth Symphony

A few months ago, I made a miraculous discovery while rummaging through an old chest belonging to my great-great-great-great uncle Anton Spelunker, student and bunkmate to the great musical genius, Ludwig Van Beethoven. In the chest was my uncle’s meticulous copy of Beethoven’s long fabled 10th Symphony! It was a sublime and moving work, full of splendid melodies, powerful and assured orchestration, and a fugue for combined chorus and orchestra that seemed to sing to the heavens. With anxious anticipation, I brought my find to the Wolfgang Zaimond, professor of Cacophony and Grating Music at the John Cage Conservatory of Music. Alas, he rightfully dismissed the symphony out of hand. The work it seems was shamefully derivative of the work of late 19th century composers such as Brahms, Mahler, and Rachmaninoff. It was a hardly original counterpoint to Beethoven’s revolutionary works that sparked the Romantic revolution. Sad too that the manuscript wasn’t even in Beethoven’s hand, since that would have given it at least some value.

And now, as I line my garbage can with this now worthless reminder of a long gone past, it is nice to know that as we enter the new millennium, we still have some faith in progress, secure in the knowledge that the new will always surpass the old fashioned. I take to heart the adage that those who do not remember the music of the past are condemned to rewrite it. Thus, I am so, so glad that we will never need to hear the likes of Beethoven again!

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