Beethoven: The Ninth Symphony (Revised Edition) by David Benjamin Levy

By David Benjamin Levy

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, a masterpiece that has prompted almost each Western composer given that its most desirable, has develop into linked to the marking of momentous public events. In 1989, chinese language scholars performed its finale via loudspeakers in Tiananmen sq., and Leonard Bernstein led a functionality in Berlin to have fun the razing of the Berlin Wall. This energetic and up to date booklet specializes in Beethoven’s 9th, exploring the cultural and musical meanings that encompass this robust paintings of genius.

David B. Levy units the scene with a short survey of nineteenth-century Germanic tradition and society, then analyzes the 9th symphony intimately with targeted emphasis at the recognized choral finale. He discusses the preliminary performances in 1824 less than Beethoven’s path and strains the symphony’s severe reception and legacy. within the ultimate bankruptcy of the booklet, Levy examines interpretations of the paintings via favourite conductors, together with Wagner, Mahler, and Weingartner. a completely annotated discography of chosen recordings completes this complete volume.

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Additional info for Beethoven: The Ninth Symphony (Revised Edition)

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Published in ∞∫≠Ω). ’’ This section is introduced by the contrabasses and cellos (note the instrumentation in comparison with the Ninth) who steal in mysteriously, interrupted by phrases for the piano in recitative style. The exchange between the soloist and strings has been characterized as the artist communicating with his muse. After a series of signals from the horns and oboes (marked ‘‘Hört ihr wohl’’ in the sketches), the pianist initiates the principal melody in C major (Ex. ≤–≤≥), a tune borrowed from Beethoven’s own song, ‘‘Requited Love’’ (‘‘Gegenliebe’’), composed in ∞πΩ∑, and whose likeness to the ‘‘Freude’’ theme of the Ninth is self evident.

Chapter 3 THE NINTH: MOVEMENTS I–III , I. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso Sonata Form, 2/4 meter EXPOSITION ∞st KEY AREA (D MINOR)—mm. ∞–π≠ TRANSITION—mm. π≠–πΩ ≤nd KEY AREA (B® MAJOR)—mm. ∫≠–∞∂Ω CLOSING SECTION—mm. ∞∑≠–∞∏≠ I t would be no exaggeration to state that the mysterious beginning of the first movement of the Ninth Symphony is the work’s most striking feature. The murmuring sextuplets of the second violins and cellos and open fifth (A–E) of the horns of the first two measures are couched in a soft dynamic that obscures any clear sense of time, space, or tonality.

As Alex’s doctor tells his patient, ‘‘Delimitation is always di≈cult. The world is one, life is one. The sweetest and most heavenly of activities partake in some measure of violence—the act of love, for instance; music, for instance. You must take your chance, boy. ’’∞π Great works such as the Ninth Symphony cannot be protected from those who would abuse its immense power. The Böse may always be present, but it need not prevail. Power and violence may be related, but they are not synonymous. ’’ When understood and perceived in the spirit of the ennobling forces that motivated its composer, however, the Ninth Symphony has proved itself capable of speaking to the highest aspirations of humanity, of wielding power for the good.

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