Barry’s staff pick is the story of war by music, “Kulturkampf”. I had tremendous fun working with Anatoly on picking the appropriate music for this story. It’s a very clever and entertaining steam-punkish tale of battling classical composers. And thanks also to Anatoly for suggesting his friend Hans Fenstermacher as narrator. Hans’ German pronunciation is prefect… unlike mine.
by Anatoly Belilovsky
September 1, 1870
Most respected Feldmarschall von Moltke,
I wish to thank you for giving me the opportunity to put my theories to the test in the taking of Sedan. They were, of course, entirely correct, and our clear tactical victory I am happy to be reporting.
Die Grosse Bertha worked to perfection; we were able to play Bruckner’s Zero Symphony at half steam while the technicians adjusted all their valves and levers. Steamwinds worked perfectly on the first try, and though of course strings needed to be tuned, of the steam tympani there was never any doubt. I have perhaps been harsh on occasion in my estimation of Herr Bruckner’s work, but for making the listeners run away screaming I should say his symphonies are without rival.
The French did put up some feeble resistance; approaching Sedan, I became aware of an odd syncopated rhythm off in the distance. Upon opening the window I was able to ascertain the nature of the music.
“Toreador!” I exclaimed. “The fools! They think to defeat me with Bizet!”
It is not yet time to unleash my the fruit of my genius, the Secret Weapon, as old and tried music is proving adequate to the task. Anton Bruckner has cleared the way to the French capital; I swore that I should only unleash a composition of mine own when I wish for the adversary to fall to his knees and surrender to its sublime harmonies on the spot, and Paris has witnessed many such occasions. My own procession under the Arc de Triomphe is some thirty years overdue, but should taste all the sweeter for that.