Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 by Nicholas Cook

By Nicholas Cook

Beethoven's 9th Symphony is stated as one of many preferrred masterpieces of the Western culture. greater than the other musical paintings it has develop into a global image of cohesion and confirmation. but early critics rejected it as cryptic and kooky, the fabricated from a deaf and getting older composer. Nicholas Cook's consultant charts the dramatic transformation within the reception of this paintings. the tale starts in Vienna, with the responses of listeners on the first functionality, and leads to modern China and Japan, the place the symphony has obtained diametrically adversarial interpretations. The account embraces the various significant figures of 19th- and twentieth-century tune, between them Wagner and Schenker. together with an account of the sketches, an exam of the functionality culture, and a advised new interpretation, this booklet opens up new dimensions in our realizing of Beethoven's final symphony.

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Schindler recounts how the soloists pleaded with Beethoven to eliminate some of the highest notes from their parts; Beethoven refused in virtually every case, 20 Sketches and myths telling the singers that they had been spoiled by performing too much Italian music. He rejected similar requests from the chorus-master, even though Umlauf gave them his support. ' While all this was going on, speculation about the event was mounting in the press. It had been fuelled by the February petition, which had been published in the Wiener allgemeine musikalische Zeitung and Wiener TheaterZeitung.

41 This splendidly romanticized account inserts its interpretation into the gaps between the recorded facts. But it goes beyond that. It recasts the facts in its own image. Quite apart from turning Caroline Unger into a soprano, it transfers the whole incident to the most spiritually intense moment of the symphony. Graeme's finest touch, however, is the picture of a dour and taciturn Beethoven stumping off home. Here we have quite explicit evidence concerning the real sequence of events - evidence of which Graeme must have known.

Arrangements were set in motion for a Viennese premiere, at which the overture Die Weihe des Hauses and the Kyrie, Credo, and Agnus Dei from the Missa solemnis were also to be given for the first time; the Akademie (as such concerts were called) was eventually fixed for May 7 in the Karntnerthor Theater. It's generally said, because Thayer says it, that there were only two rehearsals for this premiere. This is true, but misleading. There were two full rehearsals, but there were also sectional rehearsals for the strings, as well as separate rehearsals for the chorus.

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