We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, March 31. 2013
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What an outstanding rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus. Legend has it that Handel was inspired by God to write "The Messiah" - listening to the Hallelujah Chorus I can believe it. Handel claimed that his inspiration was a vision of God sitting on his Throne in Heaven while writing it -- he envisioned it as a whole piece and just filled in the parts.
From a musical standpoint, the fugal section (a contrapuntal compositional technique in two or more voices, built on a theme and repeated at different pitches - "King of Kings, Lord of Lords") of the chorus drives most of the strong emotional feelings experienced during it's performance. Another legend surrounds this particular section in that the first time it was presented the sopranos refused to sing the piece as it is seemingly impossible to perform. They were talked into at least trying to sing it and as legend has it, were inspired to reach "higher in praise".
Happy Easter to all the Field Hands at Maggie's Farm.
And a Happy Easter to you, too, if I may speak fopr the assemblage.
I fully agree about this musical performance --and the piece itself, which you've admired superbly.
The singers deliver so fully the effect teeters on the sublime --and they've been rehearsing (presumably!) and so aren't subject to the shock wave.
The hidden talent --hiding in plain view --is the video production end --which in a performance such as this there is really none of, except for the choosing which of several cameras to cut in to the recorded sound.
The way people's faces light up singing these grand chorals is something almost new under the sun, in terms of the close-up panning that youtube is delivering to the ordinary folk in such a way.
Add headphones and the comforts of home and relaxation, and --well, the undeservedness of yrs truly is, altho only locally consequential, as capacious as the music itself.
What Vanderleun nearby may be talking about and surely embodies --that is, the vast engulfment in which we pitifully insignificant beings go our merry way, fully aware of the enormity yet intrepid and up for the fight to beat the devil --seems to be what these lyrics (appearing onscreen as Engish subtitles) are about.
Granted the simple early-enlightenment phrases are translations (with the inevitable diminished meanings), but they get right at the profundity of the enormity --and of course, the vice-versa.
One could count 305 at the same worship. Vanderleun's essay, plus the 200 teenagers from the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, plus Beethoven, plus Frederich Schiller (lyrics), plus Barenboim's conducting, plus the BBC's ''proms'' event, plus the East-West Divan Orchestra, composed of 100 young, talented, and ''interesting'' (as Barenboim calls his Arab and Jewish 'twenty-somethings' recruitment theme) musicians from Israel and the Arab neighbors, and get the number 305.
Let's go fer 306 and add the first commenter at the site:
raed john 3 months ago
thank u its so beautifull may god bless us all.
pray for us in syria
An excerpt from the wiki on the 9th:
The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 (sometimes known simply as "Choral"), is the final complete symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827). Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best-known works of the Western classical repertoire. Among critics, it is almost universally considered to be among Beethoven's greatest works, and is considered by some to be the greatest piece of music ever written.
The symphony was the first example of a major composer using voices in a symphony (thus making it a choral symphony). The words are sung during the final movement by four vocal soloists and a chorus. They were taken from the "Ode to Joy", a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in 1785 and revised in 1803, with additions made by the composer. Today, it stands as one of the most played symphonies in the world.
The Philharmonic Society of London originally commissioned the symphony in 1817. The main composition work was done between autumn 1822 and the completion of the autograph in February 1824.
The symphony itself is over an hour long. The 4th (final) Movement --the 'Choral' --is almost a half hour, and about half of it is the 'Ode to Joy'. This URL is the fourth movement. It's as familiar as the (above) "Halleluia Chorus" and --as with that particular performance's banishment of the slightly humdrummish word 'familiar' from the description --so does this partyicular performance remove itself from the usual into something quite else.
Especially so, if one uses 'full screen' and headphones, in order to get more of what happened that day some months ago during the BBC 2012 Proms, in front of a live audience of 6,000 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
One theme of that 'something else' relates to today being Easter and renewal, and these extravagantly talented and enthusiastic performers being so young --youth showing its best quality, so to speak.
Beethoven was old, at the end of his career and life, quite deaf and beset with myriad health and otherwise problems as he developed his final symphony, but the words were written by Frederich Schiller --at the age of 22. Hand-off! On the screen you see all these kids playing with adult seriousness, and one old man, the conductor, mugging with glee (catch the triumph at the very end), sort of as Beethoven, the old man, gleefully putting out a major work with a huge new innovation, a choir onstage with the orchestra.
Youth and age both, showing a best quality together, literally in concert.
It is a wonderful symphony which is going to make my next statement seem incongruous.
It is very very German in context and execution - heavy and not at all joyous or happy - almost forbidding in a way. At least it seems that way to me -very Wagnerian if you will.
Great music though and this performance is one of the best I've seen recently.
--not incongruous at ALL to me --i could've written your comment. And that was the point of pointing up this URL --it's a breakaway on two different fronts; that 'kids' aren't supposed to be grave enough (shudder!) to play this kind of music, but they do so magnificently (did you listen to the very end of the video, the commentary by BBC spokeswoman re Barenboim's reaction to this choir?), and two, the mechanics of bringing it to you, the video production where that word you used, 'forbidding' may have a lot to do with the wall of sound falling on you from your old cassette, or youtubes where the players are unseen behind a splashscreen, or your FM radio or heavens, 33 1/3 RPM vinyl LP phonographic apparati. Here, you see the sound getting made --and at the distance of a conversation.
This technique (good old BBC --like England at times waives the rules) to me 'lightens' the sensory load so much that the music gets animated, and comes alive. The kinetic energy alone --those folks are working adds a strong element to the music --and it comes through the eyes, which have gotten shorted since the advent of recorded music.
I'm trying to push the classical stuff among my kids and their set --just because, it's so good, and such a needless thing to avoid on the gloom grounds.
Another video example --watch how HBO is producing their short form fight summaries --Robert Guerrero is the fighter i was watching (he's got a side story as a major helpmate for the ms's cancer afflication), and lately noted the new style of these fight recaps is to have a short form where someone who knows fighting just gives you the turning points --fast and snappy, like boxing --!
(oops --spamguard clocked in, no more hyperlinks!)
Good points. I have an extensive classical collection (well I say extensive - to a real classical fan, it's fairly minor but for an old rock n' roller, it's extensive) and have found over the years that even something like the Symphony No. 9 can be effectively transformed by a change key - notably to the higher B. Pretty amazing actually.
My kids grew up with my rock 'n roll/blues/metal band addiction, but I was careful to expose them to classical and they developed an appreciation for it.
Good poppa! I did the same thing, at least until they got old enough to jump out the window
nah, just kidding --
Say, i got the name of that orchestra wrong --here's the actual name:
Re that key change --it's written in D minor --which i'd imagine is part of the 'rising above' theme, as there's not a more dolorous sound than the D minor chord. Part of that whole inexplicable body of 'D' words that describe the down, depressing, dull, disturbed deceitful desperate deceptive delinquint et cetera sides of things.
Raises the thought, you know, the old man needed help writing the score --the inking of the paper having fallen to aged eyes (his appearance at tyhe 9th's premiere was his first show in 12 years). With no more thought of career arc maybe he went-for-broke trying for the sound of joy --in D minor.
You know, like a champeen sprinter who decides for his last race he's gonna try to win carrying a cinder block. To shake off the mortal coil so to speak.
But in any event he would've have wanted to avoid a disaster of manners, with the onset of human voice midway thru the last movement of the last symphony's intro of his legacy, the new object, the ''choral symphony''.
So, write the thing in D minor, and make sure the wonderful music is expressing that universal subject of art, the condign acceptance in the end of weariness, sadness, regret, et cetera --when suddenly the human spirit breaks in with those gorgeous cascading waterfalls of color and sound, tempo and volume, time and space.
(50 years hence, Impressionists would be making the same point in paint, axiomatically intensifying a color by juxtaposing its opposite --hue over value --on the color wheel)
And there's a clue --the 'composer additions' to Schiller's words that you see credited --this is the very first words sung, the baritone solo breaking in with the strang request "Friends, listen not to just this music, for there is a more joyful sound" (or words to that effect) --the sound that the choir then commences making in harmony and counterpoint to the instruments.
There's even a story that he was having a lot of trouble scoring the (instrument-to-vocal) crossover, with how to bring in the singing without it sounding episodic or patched and attached --IOW a segue without vulnerability to critical traditionalism defining the event as an intellectual error. His friend and writer of many of the Beethoven anecdotes (name, name!) describes him coming to the office one day, by this time under deadline pressure, and exuberantly exclaiming (paraphrase here), "I've GOT it!" (meaning that basso profundo exclamation), "I'll just SAY it, I'll just describe what I'm DOING!"
Apparently, knocking down the fourth wall worked --there were five distinct standing ovations, and people breaking into cheering, during the closing minutes of the performance! The audience was joining the choir!
Beethoven enjoyed developing themes in his music and then explore the themes with varying compositional techniques. You see this through all his works except for one - "Missa Solemnis" - which in my opinion is his best work (and I'm not alone in that view), but seems to be greatly under appreciated. But again, in "Missa Solemnis" he breaks out of the thematic exploration and just plays it straight.
To me, Beethoven represents the Classical era much more so than the Romantic Era. Some see Beethoven as a transitional figure between the two, but I don't agree with that. As a German, it would be natural to reject the Age of Enlightenment and enter the age of Romanticism (which, just as a side note, was the real basis of fascism and the eventual rise of The Third Reich), but he didn't - he stayed strictly within the confines of the Classical era with the one exception - "Missa Solemnis".
Of course the contrary argument is that Beethoven, because of his need to explore themes and variations, was an exemplary example of Romantic era art - music, sculpture, etc. To them I say bah humbug - I'm sticking to my interpretation. :>)
I like Wagner. So did Mark Twain.
Wagner's music is better than it sounds. - Mark Twain