The Thursday Quiz!
The Thursday Quiz is, as always, a "Is It or Isn't It" game. From the list of twelve items, your job is to determine whether each IS or ISN'T a true example of the week's category.
Remember always the Spirit of Christmas:
No research, Googling, Wikiing, or use of reference books. The ThursdayThis Week's Category will be the talk around town!
Quiz is a POP quiz. Violators will lose their power of speech.
Languages With the Greatest Numbers of Speakers
OK, here's how this one works: All of the following are major world languages. Some of them, though, are in the ten languages with the greatest number of native speakers. The others aren't even in the top twenty-five. Which are the ones in the top ten?
Submit your answers in a linguistic form.
Countdown to Beethoven's Birthday:
Beethoven's Sixth Symphony ("Pastorale")
Mmm... Beethoven's Sixth. The "Pastorale." For me, listening to Beethoven's Sixth is as refreshing and comforting as the spring day out in the country that it is intended to recreate.
The happiest and most joyful of Beethoven's works (the turbulance of the profound depression he was feeling around this time must have been channeled into the Fifth), the Sixth is also one of the most revolutionary. It breaks the rigid frame of the Classical symphony in two ways. First, it has five movements! Whoa. Since a Classical audience knew exactly what to expect from each of the four traditional divisions of a symphony -- theme & development, a slow bit, a dance, a rousing conclusion -- tacking on a fifth was really messing with their heads. Secondly, the music is programatic, setting out to describe specific events and moods in music. Most symphonies have movements with titles like "Allegro Moderato"; Beethoven's Sixth has movements with titles like "Upon the Arrival of Pleasant Thoughts While A'Riding in the Fields."
What's not to love? Well, the usual criticism of the Sixth would likely be that it is twee, intellectually lightweight, pretty. Well, I'm an intellectual lightweight who likes purty things. And I do love me some Beethoven's Sixth.