Thursday, August 30, 2012

Beethoven Symphony No.9

Beethoven's death mask
by Austrian painter
Josef Danhauser (1805-1845)
"Who was it that at last became familiar with the secret of Oneness? Who is the wise one that has true awareness?" (Iqbal, Persian Psalms; 1927)

Now famously called The Choral Symphony, The Symphony of Joy or sometimes even The Ultimate Symphony, the last symphony of Beethoven was first performed in Vienna in 1824. Initially applauded by some and described by some others as "the fading glimmers of a dying genius", it soon came to be regarded as possibly the greatest symphony ever composed.

The lines from the German poet Schiller which Beethoven introduced in finale (against the convention of symphony up to that time), actually prophecy a new age when "all men shall become brothers." The later French composer Hector Berlioz found "the novelty of the form" of the ninth symphony justified "by an intention that is quite independent of any philosophical or religious thought, which might seem equally reasonable and beautiful to anyone, be he a fervent Christian, a pantheist or an atheist, in short by an intention of a purely musical and poetic kind." (See The Hector Berlioz Website).

Video: Symphony No.9 (Complete)
0:00 First Movement
15:26 Second Movement
26:36 Third Movement
42:36 Fourth Movement
[Ode to Joy 46:01; Choral 48:31; Bliss 55:21]

1 comment:

  1. Greetings,

    Thank you for this.

    This is such a beautiful symphony. It speaks to me of something undying, something permanent, or at least the aim of finding what's permanent.

    All good wishes,