Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Beethoven Day

Today, it was off to music class. My teacher, like all musicians, is a little eccentric. His mind, I believe, goes in loops, far-reaching loops. When I imagine what the thought process for my prof would look like, I see the imaginary line of orbit for Pluto. Today was certainly no exception, though I wish it had been.
This was Beethoven Day. We were to discuss Beethoven and listen to the Fifth and Ninth Symphonies. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, there was no way to listen to all the movements of either. I was hoping, nay, praying, that he picked Moonlight Sonata as one of the sample songs. When I got into class and looked at the board, I saw it wasn't going to happen. But, I was still excited because it was Beethoven.
And then the prof started talking. And my spirits fell further. Somehow, magically, this man had a secret talent to making Beethoven boring. Also, in all of my professor's 'lectures' he manages to find a way to compare himself to the famous composer we happen to be studying at this time. He managed to somehow link Beethoven's deafness with his own GI tract maladies.
Now, if you know nothing about Beethoven, let me spare you the details of the far out ramblings of my teacher and impart a little knowledge of my own on the subject. Ludwig von Beethoven was the wild man of classical music. He had a number of romances with the aristocratic women of Vienna, scammed publishers, and never, ever belonged to a single court or church, which was completely unlike any other composer of note of that time and before.He demanded that artists were just as important and deserved as much- if not more- respect than the aristocracy. He added instruments into orchestras that had never been there before, added to the number of players of the 'regular' musicians so as to create a bigger, more complex sound. The music he wrote was more dynamic as a general rule than anyone else's, he bridged movements, which at the time was unheard of as well. When he had lost the majority of his hearing (which is now believed to be caused by long-term lead poisoning), he sawed the legs off his piano so that he could feel the vibrations through the floor, and his Ninth Symphony was composed when he was completely deaf. He refused to play for people who would not listen, and saw music not just as entertainment, but as a way of life, and a method of moral transendence. He was as rock n roll as Jim Morrison or Eric Clapton and as soulful as Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, or B.B. King. In short, the coolest classical composer ever.
Needless to say, none of this was mentioned in class. NONE. As I watched people fall asleep around me, I thought "you're being robbed of a lot of information". And they only woke up when the music began playing because you can't ignore Beethoven.

Notice, the man above is playing a Steinway, which is about the grandest of all pianos. And Karajan is a world famous conductor, and in fact one of my favorites to watch.
Either way, here's the opportunity to fall in love.

No comments:

Post a Comment