Austria / Germany, 1963, symphony / Romanticism

Berliner Philharmoniker / Herbert von KarajanSymphony No. 9 (Beethoven): This symphony is divided into five movements, and I decided to just close my eyes and listen, every so often jotting down ideas that came to me. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso: this is the music of confrontation and revelation, the display of uncontrollable, elemental forces. Perhaps this is the formation of the molten globe upon which man would one day walk. Molto vivace: this is a journey, with scenes rolling by, sometimes lazily, sometimes at a gallop. Adagio moto e cantabile: the music evokes a feeling of pastoral respite. There is a strange quality of searching curiosity here. Presto: one of Beethoven’s most famous and easily recognizable pieces couched in and developed among more experimental elements involving artistic musical pauses and lack of a clear melody. Presto – >>O freunde, nicht diese Tone!<< – Allegro assai: this last and longest movement is the full development of the previous part, with both solo and choral vocals. And what are they singing so joyfully about? Well, basically, it’s about the idea of a universal brotherhood, one bound together by love, specifically philia and marital bonds. If you’ve got no love or don’t care enough to seek it out, then get out. Go cry alone; you have no place in our love club! We are all bound together by the reality of a common Creator. Look up, and understand what it means to be human.

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