I can’t remember when, or even if, I’ve ever listened to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 from start to finish. I’ve certainly never heard it performed live. Until last night. We attended a performance of the Ninth by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the Seattle Symphony Chorale at Benaroya Hall.
Of course I’ve heard almost all of it before, just in bits and pieces. It’s been used so frequently as the soundtrack for movies, TV shows, and videos like this one that most of it is instantly recognizable even if you can’t identify it as the Ninth.
Hearing it live was magnificent!
The power and majesty, and the subtlety and complexity of this work are awe-inspiring, and almost physically overwhelming.
It’s one of those rare achievements that makes you proud to be a human being. I mean, for all our violence, thoughtlessness and stupidity, for all our careless disregard for each other and the planet we call home, this stupendous, uplifting work of art was created by one of us! If we can produce music like this then humanity still has things to celebrate.