Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The Immortal Masterpiece from the Immortal Master

 Best of the Tales: This post from March, 2016

In the final week of the Beethoven trilogy series with the Houston Symphony Orchestra at Jones Hall in Houston, TX, will be, to I think most classical music lovers, the greatest symphony ever composed, Beethoven's Choral Symphony #9.  Wow, am I looking forward to going to Jones Hall on Saturday night with the fetching Mrs. Sheralyn B. to hear our world class Houston Symphony Orchestra and Chorus led by Maestro Andres Orozco-Estrada perform this magnificence.

the master - Ludwig Van Beethoven [1770-1827]
Beethoven's 9th Symphony in D-minor is more than just a regular Romantic symphony.  It is an epic immortal masterpiece that can give one goose bumps upon hearing in person.  I have compared this to going to the movies to see an average good film or going to the movies to see an epic great classic, like Lawrence of Arabia or Casablanca or The Wizard of Oz.   

Sheralyn and I have heard Beethoven's 9th Symphony played by our great Houston Symphony Orchestra before.  I can tell you the audience is spellbound by this riveting music which is performed magnificently by the HSO.  After each movement you take a breath waiting in anticipation of the movement that is to follow.  And when the third movement ends and the orchestra [along with the Houston Symphony Choir] gets ready to play exhilarating final "Ode to joy" movement, the anticipation and focus in the audience is palpable.  

Here is how the HSO web site puts it:  "Of all symphonies, Beethoven’s monumental Symphony No. 9 is most often declared the greatest ever written. This immortal masterpiece takes listeners on a spiritual journey from the darkness of the opening to the triumph of the famous “Ode to Joy.”

The opening piece of this epic concert program will be Leonard Bernstein's popular Chichester Psalms.  From the Houston Symphony Orchestra website"Rejoice with Leonard Bernstein’s jubilant Chichester Psalms, a Hebrew-language setting of favorite psalms from the Old Testament.   Written for strings, brass, percussion, chorus and soloists, this tuneful work has remained one of Bernstein’s most popular since its 1965 premiere."

As always when Mrs. B and I attend a Houston Symphony Orchestra Concert I like to share a little bit of what we will be hearing tonight.

Please turn up the volume, play in full screen and enjoy some sacred, moving, uplifting joyful music from the giant American composer, Leonard Bernstein and the master, Ludwig Van Beethoven.

Note:  Watch the important role the double basses play in the opening minutes of the final movement, introducing the "Ode to Joy" theme. 

Leonard Bernstein: Chichester Psalms, Movement 3 and Finale, Adonai, Adonai:

L.V. Beethoven:  Symphony #9 in D-Minor, "Choral", Movement 4, Recitative:


Bedfordguy said...

When my wife and I were driving to Florida in January, the 9th came on the radio. We sat in rapt silence for one hour and twenty minute, not speaking a word, but drinking in each movement of this wonderful symphony. Alle Menchen werden Broeder.....

Big Mike said...

:-) and when you are blessed to be in person, big Harry, it is truly amazing.