Victor Borge (Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Frederic Chopin, Johannes Brahms, F
  • Classical music composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Victor Borge is an enigma for me. Though many would consider him to be simply a clown, albeit a clown spoofing classical music, some of his work is, to say the least, strikingly acute and tantalizingly interesting. The present piece is proof of this. The variations form is well-known and appears in virtually any classical music period. It would seem almost impossible to do anything new with the form but Borge proves us wrong by adopting a very unusual approach. He chooses a painstakingly well-known theme, here - "Happy birthday to you", and sets about to create variations to it. But it is only the top of the iceberg: each variation is, effectually, the way a certain composer would write the theme itself. All in all, there are eleven variations of very different composers: we start by passing through Bach and Mozart and finish with Irving and some modern composer whose name I do not know (and Borge's hilarious pronunciation does not help :P). Some of these variations are preceded by a snatch on the composer's original work from which Borge then proceeds to develop the variation. Moreover, some of his variations are rather charming (Brahms or Bach (in spite of a ridiculously humorous long descending line repeated two times)) or even, dare I say it, moving (Beethoven, in spite of some goofing on Borge's part, gets one of the better treatments). I've marked the movements in the video itself but you can also check the title which includes all composers presented in the order ...

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