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Celebrity Deathmatch, Musical Edition: Mozart vs Beethoven

"When immortals battle…in the end, there can be only one."

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He didn’t know how he’d found his way to this part of town. In fact, he didn’t even know where this part of town was. All he knew was that the streets were suddenly empty, and the mist was heavy, and nothing looked familiar, and that made him uneasy.

He walked faster, whistling as he went – a hauntingly beautiful tune never heard before in this world … and barely heard even now. He heard better here than he’d heard in a long while … but he was still going deaf. And that made him very, very angry.

Presently another man passed him on the otherwise empty street, also whistling a tune – a graceful little ditty, sure to be the talk of the town … if only anybody could appreciate the genius of it – and reward him financially, of course.

The men stopped suddenly. They looked at each other – and a flash of recognition shone in their eyes.

“I thought you were dead,” the first man said.

“And I thought I told you never to come back,” the second retorted.

“This town,” they said in unison, “just ain’t big enough for the both of us.”

And with that, the battle was joined…

It’s festive season, and that means a lot of traditional type muzak is on the airwaves. And some of that belongs to two of the greats: Mozart and Beethoven. These guys, you may have heard, were good stuff. The best of the best, in fact. Hell, B even took lessons from Mozart for a bit, when he was young.

But who deserves the crown for the greatest musician of all time?

Let’s meet the contestants…

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Brief Bio: The ultimate example of sheer talent: a child prodigy who started composing at the age of five, who could compose a masterpiece in a single afternoon, produced more than 600 works still performed in concert halls today, could play one piece while composing another in his mind, and who was just getting better when he died.
Known For: Requiem, Don Giovanni, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Fun Fact: While visiting the Vatican, Mozart heard Gregorio Allegri’s Miserere performed in the Sistine Chapel – and he was able to write out the entire score out of memory afterwards. Oh, and his nickname was Wolfie.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Brief Bio: The frustrated, angry genius who moved the boundaries of what it was considered possible to do with music: not quite as prolific as Mozart, or as swift, he agonized over his compositions, tweaking them for years until he was satisfied, and he stood at the interface of Classical and Romantic music, and excelled at both. And he did it while going deaf.
Known For: Misa solemnis, the First through Ninth Symphonies
Fun Fact: Hey, did you know there’s a crater on Mercury named in Beethoven’s honour? Oh, and an asteroid in the asteroid belt. And maybe someday, the rest of space as well…

WINNER: Johan Sebastian Bach, without whom none of this would have been possible because he brought a sense of mathematical balance that his successors could then riff off. But that’s just my (apparently incorrect, I’ve been told) opinion.

Actually, I’ve got to give it to … DA DA DA DUMMM! That’s right, Beethoven, who might not have possessed the sheer effortless talent of Mozart, but whose works have so much more force and emotion in them. Plus, the opening of Big B’s 5th has appeared in dozens of adverts, pop music songs, etc., which just goes to show that Beethoven can still sell.

ROUND TWO: No More Mister Nice Guy
Okay, now for the most important question: who would’ve won if it had all come down to fisticuffs? (WARNING: an utter lack of factual or relevant content ahead.)

Wolfgang “Mad Dog” Mozart
Height: 5′2.”
Weight: 135 lbs
Reach: 198.”
Frustration Factor: Played incredible music from the age of four and yet died in poverty. Stupid, arrogant aristocrats didn’t know who they were messing with…
Recent Appearances: Amadeus, a tragic play by Peter Shaffer

Ludwig “The Bomb” Beethoven
Height: 7′9.”
Weight: 210 lbs
Reach: 226.”
Frustration Factor: Can you imagine what it’s like to be the world’s greatest musician and be deaf?
Recent Appearances: Immortal Beloved, featuring the ever-interesting Gary Oldman; also, in the form of a giant dog, in a series of kiddies’ movies.

The two combatants circled each other, feinting here and there, hunting for weaknesses, waiting for the other to make a move.

Beethoven broke first, throwing out a powerful haymaker. But swift Mozart dodged it, grabbed his opponent’s arm, twisted, threw him to land heavily a dozen paces away.

“I keep telling you, Ludwig,” he laughed. “True art is about more than just force.”

Beethoven roared angrily, leapt to his feet, ran forward, kicked high, kicked low, jabbed.

Mozart dodged each attack, smiling even more broadly. And when his opponent was spent, he leaned forward and slapped him twice, hard, and laughed louder.

If Beethoven had been mad before, he was truly enraged now. He threw punches furiously at his swift and evasive opponent and roared with pleasure as one finally connected.

But it was all part of the plan. Even as he staggered under the impact, Mozart grabbed his former pupil’s arm, twisted it behind his back, applied pressure in a certain way…and Beethoven went down.

Beethoven’s arm was pinned up behind his back, painfully…and his windpipe was being constricted by a small but powerful arm grip. The world began to go dark.

“I taught you all you know,” Mozart sneered. “But you were never the best student.”

Mozart tightened his hold. It was all over, he knew. That move was a masterpiece – nobody had ever devised a way out of it. In a few minutes, his opponent would be done for.

But Beethoven just smiled.

“Actually,” he laughed, “you taught me all you know. Now let me return the favour.”

He twisted smoothly – and suddenly Mozart was airborne, up, up and away.

The genius gasped. How had this happened? Where had his former pupil learned this? And what was he to do now as he fell, and the ground rushed up to meet him?

Thankfully, he never had to find out…because as he moved ever more swiftly towards the ground, a massive fist lashed out towards him. And he felt the impact only for a second, before losing consciousness, and sailing away to the far side of the street, to collapse in a heap.

The fight was over.

WINNER: Once again, Beethoven, who pounds the crap out of Mozart and spends the next few years composing a piece about the tragic event that earns him the adulation of fans for centuries to come.


NOTE: The pics for the header image are from Wikimedia COMMONS: Ludwig can be found at while Wolfie lives at

Written by LousyNick
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