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Dip Your Ears, No. 250 (Knob-Fiddling Beethoven from Wolfgang Mitterer)

available at Amazon
W.Mitterer + Ludwig v. B., Nine In One,
All mixing, editing, composing, re-arranging Mitterer
Original music performed by the Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano & Trento (G.Kuhn)
(col legno)

Didn’t Glenn Gould tell us that a child’s fiddling with the knobs of the home stereo was the first step in a creative act? He might have loved Wolfgang Mitterer. Or maybe not. But on the album “Beethoven: Nine in One”, that’s pretty much exactly what Mr. Mitterer, organist, composer, and “electronics specialist”, delivers. Take briefest splashes of Spanish guitar. Electronic sound bits that might be from another TRON remake. Abbreviated e-guitar riffs. And themes from Beethoven Beethoven Beethoven symphonies. All nine of them. Every major theme from every movement, ordered by movement and crammed into 56 minutes: An Attention Deficit Disorder suffering listener’s digest of the symphonies infused with the spirit of the Electric Light Orchestra’s take on Roll Over Beethoven.

The result is unnerving and annoying one minute, then titillating and cute the next… then enervating again. At its most intriguing, it sounds like flickering aural visions of Alex DeLarge, the protagonist from Clockwork Orange. Most of the rest of the time it sounds as though several recordings of Beethoven Symphonies are being simultaneously fast-forwarded in an audio show-room. If you have always wanted to experience that, this CD – I hesitate to call the arrangement on it a “composition” and, in fairness, so does its creator – is the easiest way to come by it. Concentrated listening to it gets old quickly; as a background track at night it’s weirdly transfixing, given sufficient tolerance for the weird. Wolfgang Mitterer’s symphonic source material for the mix is Beethoven Cycle from that the disgraced Gustav Kuhn’s recorded for the same label and which is at last put to some good – or questionable… depending on your view – use.


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