Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 Choral’
The 9th Symphony is an amazing piece of music. From the slow opening, to its quick ascent to a powerful clash of instruments, the entire piece is captivating. The incredible part about the entire piece is that from the beginning to the end there is a contrast between soft and loud, always dueling for time. Either there is a strong controlling element running through the music or there is a soft easy melody.
The dualism between the deeper instruments playing in contrast to the softer woodwinds makes for an interesting listen. Each time that I have listened to this piece I am always hearing different pieces that I had not heard the time before. The trouble I have had with the piece is that I have a hard time listening to the piece as a whole. Instead I end up hearing either the high pieces or the low pieces, rather than being able to capture the two together as interconnected pieces. Yet, with the excerpts that I have been able to connect the two parts, their differences help unite them into an incredible piece of music.
From the onset of the symphony, it appears that the entire piece is based around the conclusion, being Ode to Joy. It seems like everything is just getting ready to build and build into the climax. There being smaller climaxes along the way, but for the most part it is solely preparing the listener for Ode to Joy. The exciting part about the entire piece is that at no time does the listener become lulled into the music and become withdrawn from the music, rather the listener is always attentive to the music waiting and expecting the next note or series of notes, wondering what the composer and conductor have in store.
November 15, 2000
This piece by Rossini is a rather devious piece of music. For the most part the listener is put into a position that the entire piece will be rather melodic and peaceful, but in an instant all of that changes and throws the listener for a complete loop. As the Overture warms the listener, one begins to get the idea that a sense of nature is present in the music, with the little chirps from the softer instruments. As the listener continues there begins a low, but ever present rising in intensity coming from all the instruments. From what seemed to be a careless peaceful tone, becomes a menacing and powerful thrust of music.
Moreover, as soon as the listener becomes accustomed to the intensity of the music, the composer once again changes it up and softens the mood again. The listener is continuously taken on a roller coaster ride of excitement.
The highlight for this listener was the part of the Overture that had been used as the anthem for the Lone Ranger. It is a great example for me of how music can create a vivid memory of life, with it as the background. I have always loved this piece because of how dynamic it was and because of its connection to me as a child. My parents were always trying to find ways for me to enjoy classical music as a child, without creating a distaste for the music. From that I was able to grow into the music.
I love the entire piece, and only listen to it in its entirety. The movement through out the piece is very perky, with a little bit of calmness. The listener does not have the opportunity to become complacent with a melody, before it is quickly changed into something that makes one’s heart pound. This is an absolutely incredible piece of music.
November 22, 2000
The novel that I read for historical reference was that of Charles Darwin’s Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. A.L. Burt Company, Publishers, New York. 1871. p713