A Beethoven mic drop, as chronicled in Stuart Isacoff’s new book, Musical Revolutions:
The fiery Beethoven fared better in 1800 against challenger Daniel Steibelt (1765–1823), a man known for depicting storms at the keyboard by means of broad tremolos (quivering chordal effects executed with a rapid rotation of the wrists). Steibelt went first, tossing a page of his music aside with a dramatic flourish. When it was Beethoven’s turn, he simply picked up Steibelt’s discarded sheet, turned it upside down, and proceeded to improvise variations on the overturned manuscript while picking apart Steibelt’s music in a totally humiliating way. The challenger hurriedly left, vowing never to return to Vienna as long as Beethoven was still there.