Binder’s Second Symphony

Much as one admires the scholarship evident in his magisterial survey of the forty-nine Binder symphonies, one cannot help wishing the writer had given a bit more weight to the true masterpieces. Even the most enthusiastic of Binderists, among whom I count myself, is forced to admit, sooner or later, with a gun pointed at one’s temple, that there is chaff among the wheat, lead among the gold, cacophonous racket among the celestial choirs. While it is true that some people prefer the cacophonous racket, they tend to be trendy wankers with hornrim glasses and goatee beards, and their opinions can be dismissed with a contemptuous flourish of the cravat. Untie the cravat from around your neck before attempting to flourish it.

Had I been asked to write about Binder’s symphonies, for example, I would have had much more to say about the second than that it “is based on the sound of winches”. Much, much more. But I was not asked. Despite my having a broader, more profound, and pretty damned unbeatable knowledge and appreciation of Binder and all his works, I was passed over in favour of some upstart, who is probably about twelve years old and knows next to nothing.

I bet this callow young Binderist is ignorant of the fact that, in preparing his difficult second symphony, the composer decamped to a remote rustic haven to get it together in the country. That is why he became so obsessed with trying to mimic the sound of winches using glockenspiel and bassoon and cheese-grater. He was listening, day by day, to farmyard winches, winching muck into or out of slurries, or similar manoeuvres familiar to our agrarian brethren and sistren. I cannot pretend to any useful knowledge of farmyard doings, for I am as urban as I am urbane. So much is obvious from the way I wear my cravat. But, you see, I can make the imaginative leap, I can place myself in that country cottage next to the old barn where Binder got his shit together, man. I can, if you will, inhabit Binder’s brain.

The critic Chumpot made an ambiguous comment about the fourteenth symphony, and paid with his life. Fuming Binder was so outraged by the pimple reference that he hired a hitman, who machine-gunned Chumpot as he skulked in the very same burning cities where Binder skulked as an orphan child. With my matchless ability to think and see and hear and feel exactly as Binder did, I am on my way to those cities now, by charabanc, and when I get there I will track down the contemptible young pup who had the gall to write about the forty-nine symphonies, and I shall bash him to death with a spade. I know it is what Binder would have wanted.

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