Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Reading - Music, History and Joy

On my summer reading list...if I can ever find the time to just relax and read.
From the review in the WSJ by Norman Lebrecht
Of all Beethoven's works, the Ninth Symphony is the least explicable. What on Earth was he doing decorating its finale with a chorus and soloists singing an ode of Schiller's, ostensibly about joy but in reality about brotherhood and liberation? What is the Ninth about? Is it a charter for social reform or for individual rights? A religious ecstasy? Does the symphony mean to us what it meant to Beethoven? Does it mean anything useful at all?
These are some of the questions that set Harvey Sachs off on a painstaking search to discover the roots of Beethoven's last symphony in the time of its creation. The year was 1824, and the Congress of Vienna had turned Europe back to a network of despotic monarchies, as if the Enlightenment and French Revolution had never happened.

Perhaps the Ninth was all some sort of musical Masonic code.
I shall have to read the book and find out. 

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