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Beethoven:
Top 5 List of Strange but True for 2002
Ludwig van Beethoven "To us musicians, the work of Beethoven parallels the pillars of smoke and fire which led the Israelites through the desert." So said Franz Liszt. 232 years after his birth, Beethoven is still generating smoke and fire.
On Beethoven's presumed birthday (December 16th), PT presents a top five list of strange but true Beethoven-related events of 2002.

5) Berlin, Germany: He may have sold 200 million pop records, but former King of Pop Michael Jackson told a German magazine that he loved shopping for classical CDs in Berlin record shops. His favorite -- Beethoven symphonies.

4) Vienna, Austria: MTV News reported that R&B star Alicia Keys, dressed in sequins and spandex, opened her headliner show in Beethoven's adopted city with a full-volume performance of the "Moonlight" Sonata.

3) London, England: To celebrate the 60th anniversary of its "Desert Island Discs" program, the BBC released a poll of the program's all-time top composers: John, Paul, George, and Ludwig. Beethoven and the Beatles have been constants on the program's shifting roster of politicos, pop stars, and celebrities, with Beethoven's 9th symphony at the very top.

  • Visit the BBC's "Desert Island Discs" Web site

    2) Leicester, England: The journal Science reported that university psychologists used music by Beethoven, Simon & Garfunkel, and the faded pop group Bananarama to study the effects of music on milk production. They found that Holstein cows listening to Beethoven's "Pastoral" Symphony or Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" produced 3% more milk than cows not listening to any music. The report goes on to say that cows subjected to Bananarama's version of "Venus" actually had a decrease in milk production.

  • Read more at the University of Leicester Web site

    1) Oslo, Norway: Artist Leif Inge built a special software program to transform Beethoven's 70-minute Ninth Symphony into a 24-hour composition. Mr. Inge told NPR's Jackie Lyden: "I haven't only stretched a piece of music. I have stretched music history and that's, of course, the reason why I chose Beethoven's 9th Symphony."

    Closer to Eternity: Stretching Beethoven's 9th
    Listen to Inge's interview and hear the 24-hour Beethoven's 9th