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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Weekend Break From Politics

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

The first week of the school term is always grueling.

But I have to say that I am posting joyous music today precisely because this past week has brought into my classes many powerhouse students, both previous students and new students.

In fact, one fifth-grade girl new to the homeschool group ended her introduction of herself with these words, music to my heart: "I love a challenge"! She means those words, too. When the day started, she was enrolled in only one class; by day's end, her mother had enrolled her a second class.

"Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's Symphony No. 9:

Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in its entirely below the fold.


  1. Congratulations, AOW, on a good start to the school year.

  2. Sounds like this year will be a good one for you. The attitude of the students can make all the difference.

    Right Truth

  3. AH! The Symphony to End All Symphonies!

    How great to see it posted on a political blog!

    I find Beethoven to be the most warmly human of all the great composers and at the same time very probably the closest to The Truth of Being -- God's immutable, eternal Love -- the source of all Life, Inspiration, Hope, Joy, Satisfaction and Delight in Living.

    Whenever I stop to think that this tremendously beautiful, incredibly powerful, brilliantly complex, and profoundly ENCOURAGING utterance came from the mind of totally deaf, tormented genius, whose life never knew a moment of what-we-think-of-as ease or privilege, I break down and cry -- humbled by admiration and an odd feeling of empathy.

    The phenomenal contributions made by our very few authentic geniuses have given me more reason to believe in God than all the words that lie dead in the pages of The Holy Bible -- waiting to be brought to life by perceptive, benevolent human beings eager to do good and bring about awareness of the awe-inspiring BEAUTY and sheer MAGNIFICENCE of God's Creation -- and the great potential that lies dormant in every human heart.

    God SPEAKS to us THROUGH music of this astoundingly high caliber. Beethoven -- along with J.S. Bach and W. A. Mozart -- and a few others -- TOOK DICTATION directly from GOD.

    With that in mind most of us ought to humble ourselves and make more of an effort to take time to LISTEN REPEATEDLY in order to get better acquainted with the Almighty.

    Thanks for giving us this opportunity, AOW.

    I didn't think I had the time to hear the ninth this weekend, now that I'm in the midst of it once again, I have NO CHOICE but to listen and learn anew.

    I'm sitting here with goose bumps all over my body. I'd wish the same for all who stop by here today -- or any day.

    If ever anything deserved our FULL ATTENTION and WORSHIPFUL DEVOTION, this great symphony is IT.

    ~ FreeThinke

  4. FT,
    I'm so glad that you appreciate this posting.

    Beethoven's music soars. No doubt about it.

    But my preference in the "classical" domain may surprise you: anything Baroque! J.S. Bach tops my list, but there are many other "minor" composers of the Baroque Period that I love. I guess that polyphony is "my thing."

    I also love Gregorian Chant, particularly when performed in a cathedral.

    In fact, a cathedral setting makes nearly all sorts of music soar and touch my soul.

  5. I do wish you had included the credits for orchestra, conductor, soloists and chorus in this splendid performance, AOW.

    I share your enthusiasm for every musical thing you mentioned. Have no doubt about that, but this symphony -- all by itself -- is one the highest peaks in the colossal mountain range of Western Civilization.

    Beethoven is loaded with polyphonic writing by the way, as surely you know, but it is usually embedded in the varied textures of large, complex orchestral movements or parts of his piano sonatas.

    Check out the piano sonatas Opus, 101 in A-Major, 106 in Bb-Major, 109 in E-Major, 110 in Ab- Major and 111 in C-Minor-Major all of which contain great fugal writing. The development section of the last movement of Opus 101 is a great energetic fugue full of wit and humor as well as high drama. The final movement of opus 110 is comprised of two fugues each on the same theme with a lyrical bridge in between. Nothing come to a more soaring, joyfully majestic climax than the final movement of Opus 110.

    Thanks again for this post. How I wish you could do something to cultivate interest and understanding of great music in your students! The popular culture, of course, is doing everything possible to ANNIHILATE love and respect for classical music just as it is attempting to BLOT OUT and ERADICATE all awareness of God's Presence in our lives

    ~ FT.

  6. Friedrich von Schiller’s Ode to Joy, as it appears in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, in an English translation:

    O friends, no more these sounds!
    Let us sing more cheerful songs
    More full of joy!

    Joy, bright spark of divinity,
    Daughter of Elysium,
    Fire-inspired we tread Thy sanctuary.
    Thy magic power re-unites
    All that custom has divided,
    All men become brothers,
    Under the sway of thy gentle wings.

    Whoever has created
    An abiding friendship, Or has won
    A true and loving wife,
    All who can call at least one soul theirs,
    Join our song of praise;
    But those who cannot must creep tearfully
    Away from our circle.

    All creatures drink of joy
    At natures breast.
    Just and unjust
    Alike taste of her gift;
    She gave us kisses and the fruit of the vine,
    A tried friend to the end.
    Even the worm can feel contentment, A
    nd the cherub stands before God!
    Gladly, like the heavenly bodies
    Which He sent on their courses
    Through the splendor of the firmament;
    Thus, brothers, you should run your race,
    Like a hero going to victory!

    You millions, I embrace you.
    This kiss is for all the world!
    Brothers, above the starry canopy
    There must dwell a loving father.
    Do you fall in worship, you millions?
    World, do you know your creator?
    Seek Him in the heavens;
    Above the stars must he dwell.

    ! FT

  7. FT,
    I do wish you had included the credits for orchestra, conductor, soloists and chorus in this splendid performance

    I didn't see that info for the first video. Where is that info?

    In the second video, the "More info" button will bring up the details.


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