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Blog by Ina Centaur » ICR

 

Beethoven’s Symphony No 5

Written by ina on Saturday, 26 of April , 2008 at 9:37 am
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“Radiant beams shoot through the deep night of this region, and we become aware of gigantic shadows which, rocking back and forth, close in on us and destroy all within us except the pain of endless longing—a longing in which every pleasure that rose up amid jubilant tones sinks and succumbs. Only through this pain, which, while consuming but not destroying love, hope, and joy, tries to burst our breasts with a full-voiced general cry from all the passions, do we live on and are captivated beholders of the spirits.”

So were the words of E.T.A. Hoffman, a year and a half after the premiere performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 — which was part of a program that was over 4 hours long, which by the end exhausted both audience and performers, and the big B had to stop and restart the music. Yet this particular symphony is perhaps one of the most well-known pieces of European classical music, and although first performed in Beethoven’s later years, in his impending physical deafness, it is immortal in its own way: its triplet-half note motif repeated throughout the eras from disco to rock and roll to Morse code letter V for victory - dot-dot-dot-dash. Here’s Beethoven’s Symphony No 5, as performed by the Skidmore College Orchestra:

Ina Centaur Radio: http://music.inacentaur.com/bsn5

Category: ICR

Who is Ina Centaur?

A 25-year old American polymath of Taiwanese ancestry pretending to be old and Caucasian in Second Life. Semi-retired independent scholar also dabbling as an independent artist in new media, particularly theatre and the humanities—notably Shakespeare. Programmer, playwright and novelist. Formal academic background in http://portfolio.inacentaur.com/ina/scientist, philosophy, and bioengineering.

This is largely a personal blog which isn't always up-to-date. There's no one definitive way to stalk me ;-).