Today marks the 184th anniversary of music's acme. On May 7th, 1824, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony was premiered in Vienna. The Ninth and it's signature Ode to Joy (based on a work by poet Friedrich Schiller) has routinely been recognized as the greatest piece of music ever written, and I'm not about to second guess received wisdom in this case (especially when you consider that Beethoven was stone deaf when he wrote it). The same concert also saw the premier of Die Weihe des Hauses and Missa Solemnis, both brilliant works in their own right. If that weren't enough, today is also the birthday of two musical giants, Johannes Brahms (whose eponymous lullaby you've heard many times even if you don't listen to classical music) and Peter Illych Tchakovsky (long a personal favorite of mine). So if you, like me, regard music as something near a religion, I hope you had a chance to enjoy what would undoubtedly be one of the faith's high holidays.