Monday, June 27, 2011

On the Lighter Side...with Beethoven

I cannot not enter a contest, especially CBC's and especially when the first prize is an all expense paid trip to my favourite Canadian city, La Grande Dame, Montreal! The network's excellent well-balanced classical request show, Tempo is the perpetrator of the latest way for me to waste my time. They have called on listeners to pen limericks about Ludwig Van Beethoven's whose 9th Symphony, comprising the ubiquitous "Ode to Joy" highlights opening night for the new home of the L'Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. That's more or less concurrent to my own immortal beloved and me marking 18 years of marriage. So who can resist? Not me for sure.

Here then 10 entries for your possible amusement

Ludwig B___, a musician from Bonn
Would practice piano ‘til dawn
“To get the tune right
I insist on moon light!”
He declared as he stifled a yawn.

Young Ludwig composed very well
Yet when flattered by his clientele
He would often exclaim
“I deserve no great fame --
For this piece is a mere bagatelle.”

Napoleon to Ludwig once said
“Though most of great Europe I’ve led
When I sit down to play
Josephine will not stay
Sometimes even my valet has fled.”

While at work on his latest great opus
Bee-tho-ven shouted out “This is hopeless”
My “beautiful” waltz
is nothing but schmaltz
Proving I’m just a musical mopus*

*(Note: “Mopus” is an archaic expression for simpleton or ineffectual perso – see Oxford English Dictionary and usage by Johnathan Swift)

Van Beethoven’s brand new serenade
the young orchestra so badly played
But a more seasoned trio
covered it with such brio
That he said: “t’is for you gents, it’s made.”

Beethoven once said to his chef
“Great torte ! - but your viola clef
Sounds so misbegotten
Like a pate turned rotten
Looks like you, pal, not me, who’s gone deaf!”

Ludwig for his girl named Therese
Wrote a beautiful score, her to please
But she turned down his hand
For a far richer man
So he lied and said “T’was Fur Elise!”

While at work on his famous sonata
Ludwig B. polished off the dolmathas
Then that piggish ‘composa “*
Ate all the samosas
to become a persona non grata.

* to be read with an English or New England dropping of the r from composer.

Immortal beloved – how romantic!
Ludwig B. wrote some woman, so frantic.
But just who “beloved” was
Still has scholars a-buzz
as they argue their viewpoints pedantic.

Old Ludwig woke up in a sweat
‘Bout a project he’d not started yet.
Had he been far too rash
to accept advance cash?
This would truly be a Late Quartet!*

[There being a set of such quartets that the man composed in his old age and which are collectively known as the “Late Quartets”]