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JOURNEYS WITH BEETHOVEN: Following the Ninth, and Beyond Kindle Edition
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In the first half, documentary filmmaker Kerry Candaele tracks down a few unexpected ways that Beethoven's Ninth has been re-interpreted around the world. There are moving descriptions of how the Ninth was adopted as a protest song in two unexpected places, 1970s Chile and the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Candaele interviews protestors and key figures who explain how the Ninth became wrapped into the fabric of these nonviolent protests. Candaele also catches up with British punk and folk rocker Billy Bragg, who recently penned new English lyrics for the "Ode to Joy", and describes the massive performances of the Ninth in Japan, which can feature up to thousands of chorus members. It's a short and thought-provoking read that focuses on individuals who connected with Beethoven's Ninth under some extraordinary circumstances.
In part II, journalist Greg Mitchell, a lifelong rock 'n roll man, discovers Beethoven at age 60 and explores the rest of Beethoven's oeuvre. Again, a light and breezy read, which may appeal best to people who similarly first start listening to classical music later in life. Mitchell describes concerts, CDs, a brief sketch of Beethoven's life, and, in a bit of padding, various unusual Google results on Beethoven and notable YouTube videos.
Solid, if brief, interviews with New York Philharmonic trombonist Joseph Alessi, pianist Jeremy Denk, and music professor David Levy are included and shed good light on how professional musicians tackle the challenges of Beethoven performance.
Overall, an enjoyable read for Beethoven fans that may be particularly useful for those who, for whatever reason, are just beginning to discover Beethoven's works.
a primer on Beethoven and his music in the context of his times.
I felt the same way Kerry felt on hearing the transcending third movement of the Ninth. It touches your very soul. If you are reading this book, or about to , then you already know that Beethoven is unlike any other composer, and his genius and ability to take you to a whole new level within your inner self is un-deniable. If you havent felt it,you need to! It's an absolute high. And its available ,all around you. This book validates that Beethoven is good for you!
When I read about Kerry's travels to all of these countries I was fascinated to learn of all the different cultures some in a time of great strife, and yet there is this one great thing, this one Symphony written by a deaf composer in the final years of his life and own personal turmoil. Is it divine? I believe so. Kerry shows us the " healing power" of this Symphony. Imagine a world that could be completely healed simply by a piece of music? where all men are brothers. How easy is that? It was Beethoven himself who said "Triumph over adversity."
This book was a great Journey with Beethoven and Im now reading it a second time.