Saturday, January 2, 2016

Starting Classical Music 2016 With The Greatest Of The Greats

Happy New Year Everyone.  As we enter the new year 2016, this Tales classical music weekend would like to start off on a great note-or great notes that is, with what is considered by most musicologists as the greatest symphony ever composed, Ludwig Van Beethoven's 9th Symphony, with it's Ode to Joy Choral final movement.
Ludwig Van Beethoven [Dec. 1770-March 26, 1827]
Beethoven's 9th Symphony is an epic remarkable work by the master.  If you are ever able to go to the concert hall to hear this symphony, like my friend Joel from Oregon recently did, you are not just attending a concert, you are attending an experience.  To me, it is the difference in going to just a good movie or going to an epic blockbuster movie like Lawrence of Arabia or The Ten Commandments.  I have been blessed to hear our Houston Symphony Orchestra perform this a couple of times through the years and the excitement and anticipation in the audience is palpable.  Yes, all patrons are quiet during the playing of every symphony, but during this symphony it is like you are almost holding your breath listening to greatness and genius, especially at the conclusion of the third movement getting ready to go into the triumphant, joyful stirring choral final movement.  Each movement is greatness in itself as you will see in the following video the extended break between each movement as the conductor and orchestra take a breath and get ready for each following movement.  I am not ashamed to say I have actually gotten goose bumps being in Jones Hall listening to our Houston Symphony Orchestra perform this symphony.   

Beethoven's symphony #9 is scored in D-minor with four movements: 1. Allegro ma non troppo,  2. Scherzo-molto vivace,  3. Adagio molto e cantable and 4. recitative [choral] (Presto – Allegro ma non troppo – Vivace – Adagio cantabile – Allegro assai – Presto: O Freunde).

Thanks to a great classical music friend of this blog and admirer and #1 fan of Beethoven, Connie Bach, who sent me a great version of Beethoven's 9th symphony and gave me an idea for this post to start off the new year. 

This is a long symphony, so, when you have the time, please sit back and watch in full screen with the volume up for an experience like never before.  If you only have time to hear one movement, I have the movements marked when they come in, in the note below. Thanks to this awesome You Tube version from Kanal Korisnika Mandetriens from London, the BBC Proms, 2012, with Maestro Daniel Barenboim at the baton.

Note:  In the following video the second movement starts around the 18:05 mark, the third movement at the 30:58 mark and the final movement starts around the 47:53 mark. 

L.V. Beethoven:  Symphony #9 in D-minor, Choral:  



3 comments:

Anonymous said...

One day two friends who loved classical music found the cemetery where Beethoven was buried in Vienna, Austria.

As they got closer they heard a very strange noise, like music but not like music.

The first friend said "do you hear that? What's that sound?"

The second friend, who was smarter, said "really, you don't know? That's Beethoven, decomposing."

BZ

Big Mike said...

:-) Thanks BZ!

Bedfordguy said...

I was also in the cemetery in Vienna, and can vouch that indeed Beethovan was indeed decomlosing, along with other famous musicians buried there.