Thee Ninth Symphony

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Thee Ninth Symphony

Postby The Prince » Thu Jan 04, 2001 3:32 pm

Whenever I feel challenged by something in life, or I am a little blue I listen to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. He was totally deaf when he wrote this piece, arguably the greatest piece of music ever written, and he was totally deaf when he conducted the orchestra that played it for the first time. When I think of that awesome human achievement, while listening to the symphony I always feel better and I am inspired to do anything. No job can be too great!
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Re: Thee Ninth Symphony

Postby Peter » Thu Jan 04, 2001 4:07 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by The Prince:<BR><B>Whenever I feel challenged by something in life, or I am a little blue I listen to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. He was totally deaf when he wrote this piece, arguably the greatest piece of music ever written, and he was totally deaf when he conducted the orchestra that played it for the first time. When I think of that awesome human achievement, while listening to the symphony I always feel better and I am inspired to do anything. No job can be too great!</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>You`re right, T.P. The 9th would be an astonishing enough work had it been written by someone not so handicapped, or by someone not stigmatized as being "ripe for the madhouse", after presenting his 7th! It`s also amazing that Beethoven was only spurred on to finish the 9th after a commission offer of £50 for the symphony. Heck, some kids get that as pocket money!<P>By the way, Beethoven was allowed to believe that he was conducting the premiere performance, but the real director was standing behind him. How sad that this had to be so.
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Re: Thee Ninth Symphony

Postby serge urtizberea » Fri Jan 05, 2001 1:25 pm

That's not exactly true, Peter. Beethoven set out the tempos at the start of each mov't, then let the conductor take over. Besides, a composer of 30 years would know if his conducting was actually being followed or not, don't you think?<P>Another thing: at the end of the symphony, you'd think Beethoven would know it was over-- you know, seeing the players put down the instruments, etc.-- and that the audience would be applauding. Perhaps B. just didn't really want to turn around at all for some reason, but felt obliged to when the contralto bade him do so.
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Re: Thee Ninth Symphony

Postby Peter » Fri Jan 05, 2001 3:00 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by serge urtizberea:<BR><B>That's not exactly true, Peter. Beethoven set out the tempos at the start of each mov't, then let the conductor take over. Besides, a composer of 30 years would know if his conducting was actually being followed or not, don't you think?<BR>Another thing: at the end of the symphony, you'd think Beethoven would know it was over-- you know, seeing the players put down the instruments, etc.-- and that the audience would be applauding. Perhaps B. just didn't really want to turn around at all for some reason, but felt obliged to when the contralto bade him do so.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I can`t really agree here, Serge. Beethoven may have been allowed to start off the orchestra in each movement, but after just a few bars, the musicians would have, intuitively, looked towards the real conductor, since he & Beethoven must have already been at odds, by that stage.<P>Personally, I do not believe that Beethoven would have noticed the musicians finishing a movement. By then, he was already living `outside` of himself. The occasion of the premiere must have so overwhelmed the master. I think that he knew he was not much longer for this world, & that this meisterwerk was his symphonic farewell. He was not going to let a trivial detail such as his deafness spoil his last great public appearance. The public had his music in their ears, but, out of sync though it might have been, his child`s heart was beating inside of his own.<P> That night, he played the entire symphony in his head; it was an enormously personal experience, & he would have been so immersed in himself, that I do not believe that he would have been aware of the orchestra dropping bows or anything else. The buiding could have been on fire, & Beethoven would not have noticed.
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Re: Thee Ninth Symphony

Postby serge urtizberea » Sat Jan 06, 2001 2:06 am

Such a noble thought. Of course, if something similar to it had appeared in Immortal Beloved, you'd have surely lambasted its "whimsy" and railed against the fact there's no proof behind it. I see.
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Re: Thee Ninth Symphony

Postby Peter » Sat Jan 06, 2001 6:43 am

You are correct, sir. I should not have liked to see the events, as described by me, portrayed in Immortal Beloved. My post was based on my interpretation of what is known; slightly fanciful, yes, but not implausible.<P>Thank you for acknowledging my noble thought. What is it that you "see"?
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Re: Thee Ninth Symphony

Postby Lon » Tue Jan 09, 2001 12:03 am

Struggle and pain, love and joy, it's all there; just a reflection of human aspirations and feelings. He first had to hear each note inside before he could write it out. By his example, he was teaching us that we can do the same in our lives. That is why this symphony has such universal appeal.
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Re: Thee Ninth Symphony

Postby shostakovich » Wed Jan 10, 2001 4:57 pm

I found the following in the notes to Solti's set of 9 symphonies. The quote is from one of the performers in the premiere of the 9th. <P>"Beethoven himself conducted; that is, he stood in front of a conductor's stand and threw himself back and forth like a madman. At one moment he stretched to his full height, at the next he crouched down to the floor; and he flailed about with his hands and feet as though he wanted to play all the instruments and sing all the choral parts --- The actual direction was in Duport's hands; we musicians followed his baton only --- Beethoven was so excited that he saw nothing that was going on about him, he paid no heed whatever to the bursts of applause, which his deafness prevented him from hearing in any case."<BR>Shos
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Re: Thee Ninth Symphony

Postby Peter » Wed Jan 10, 2001 6:20 pm

Thanks, Shos, I knew I hadn`t dreamt it!
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Re: Thee Ninth Symphony

Postby serge urtizberea » Mon Jan 15, 2001 1:02 am

How ridiculous. Beethoven conducting an orchestra that would not follow him? And Beethoven not caring? Either the player who said that was lying, or the person I read saying that Beethoven simply set the tempi for each mov't was lying. Somehow, despite the desires by many here to make sure everyone thinks Beethoven was a fool at the premiere of his most symbolic symphony, I doubt the player was telling the truth. Call me naive.
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Re: Thee Ninth Symphony

Postby Flowerboy » Mon Jan 15, 2001 1:06 am

i agree serge , yet it is too grand and wonderful to be true. It would be nice to think of Beethoven conducting his orchestra while deaf, but deaf is deaf, and i dont think the officials trusted him enough for the concert, to be honest.<BR>Flowerboy
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Re: Thee Ninth Symphony

Postby serge urtizberea » Mon Jan 15, 2001 1:37 pm

Of course no one trusted him. Beethoven himself stopped trusting his own conducting after he stopped performing.
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Re: Thee Ninth Symphony

Postby Peter » Mon Jan 15, 2001 2:25 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by serge urtizberea:<BR><B>How ridiculous. Beethoven conducting an orchestra that would not follow him? And Beethoven not caring? Either the player who said that was lying, or the person I read saying that Beethoven simply set the tempi for each mov't was lying. Somehow, despite the desires by many here to make sure everyone thinks Beethoven was a fool at the premiere of his most symbolic symphony, I doubt the player was telling the truth. Call me naive.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Obviously, Beethoven was no fool. But he was an eccentric genius, indulged by the adoring Viennese.
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