Beethoven wrote not-often-played variations on Rule Britannia.  I think I know why: In this unlikely piece Beethoven explores what happens to a tune when it is expressed not as a tune but broken up into distinctly diverse durations  scattered unexpectedly throughout the texture.   You never know where a long note is going to impose itself on the forward-moving rush of the work.
Result: Everyone laughs out loud.  
 


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