Thursday, April 16, 2009

Crouching Tiger, Hidden CHUTZPAH

It may just be that the buzz from last night's performance by the YouTube Symphony Orchestra (which even echoed on Truthdig) is still rattling around inside my skull; but I have decided that there is enough chutzpah in taking a five-minute romp and hanging the name of "Eroica" on it (even without then subjecting it to a mash up) to merit an award. After all, the set of variations that Ludwig van Beethoven wrote that now carry this name take as much time as most of the symphonies of his contemporaries (which is about half the duration of the "Eroica" symphony). So, since the "chutzpah ceiling" for artistic accomplishment was broken last week, I have no hesitation in granting the Chutzpah of the Week award for this week to Tan Dun, who has found his own path to outrageousness that is definitely on a par with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. While there is no "extra credit" for an act of chutzpah, Tan should also be recognized for doing unto Beethoven a deed worthy of what the ukulele ensemble did to Richard Wagner!

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