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I'd like to extend a sincere apology heavenward to Ludwig van Beethoven for what has to be the worst birthday ever. Happy belated 250th / Washington Post

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I cannot imagine what a celestial-level bummer it must be to spend more than two centuries hovering around the ether, waiting for your big sestercentennial bash to pop off and take over the planet, only to have the whole thing called off at the last minute.

So before we go any further, on behalf of Earth, its people and all of our germs, I'd like to extend a sincere apology heavenward to one Ludwig van Beethoven for what has to be (I didn't double-check this) the worst birthday ever. Also, happy belated 250th.

All through 2020, as coronavirus case numbers soared and hopes plummeted, I watched and whimpered as one monumental Beethoven tribute after another crumbled. I did this less out of despair over the events themselves than what their collapse represented: Leonard Bernstein once observed that Beethoven's music was propelled from note to note (and indeed from age to age) by a sense of inevitability. If Beethoven could be shut down, what chance did the rest of us stand?

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