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I've posted previously that my only church is the Church of Beethoven and it seems fitting on this morning to link you to perhaps the greatest and most inspiring music ever, a very small part of the Ninth Symphony.

But to update that, also note that the fine folksinger Billy Bragg (known, among other things, for his Woody Guthrie collaboration with Wilco) has revised the lyrics to Schiller's "Ode to Joy" and will be performing the whole Ninth, with a multicultural group of musicians, in Los Angeles this summer.  

Here are just a few excerpts from the new Bragg/Schiller lyrics.  

Enough my friends, no more woes now: Lift up your spirits!
Here now let us sing our song of joy and freedom.
The future is now in our hands.

Rise up!

Chorus: Rise up!
Baritone: Rise up!

See now like a phoenix rising
From the rubble of the war
Hope of ages manifested
Peace and freedom evermore!
Brothers, sisters stand together
Raise your voices now as one -
Though by history divided
Reconciled in unison

Throw off now the chains of ancient
Bitterness and enmity
Hand in hand let's walk together
On the path of liberty
Hark a new dawn now is breaking
Lift your voices now in song!
Though by history divided
Reconciled in unison

And:

Go! Go,
Go now and spread this message
To the ends of the earth, go children.
Spread this message
Of enemies reconciled!
Brother, put your hand in mine
Sister, put your hand in mine
That henceforth we all may live in peace and harmony
Brother put your hand in mine

ALLE MENSCHEN WERDEN BRUDER!
All humanity as one!
All humanity as one!
where the stars circle above us.
All humanity! All as one!

Special bonus:  3 geniuses -- Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony transcribed for piano by Franz Liszt, performed by Glenn Gould.  Here
*
Greg Mitchell is editor of Editor & Publisher. His new book is "Why Obama Won."

Originally posted to GregMitch on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 07:45 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bernstein is so great at conducting Beethoven (5+ / 0-)

    I feel lucky to have MTT here in SF, as his conducting is so strongly shaped by Bernstein's influence.  For lack of a better term,  both of them really get the athleticism of Beethoven's music just right - powerful and muscular at times, delicate and finessed at other points, perfectly paced...

    The Billy Bragg show sounds awesome.  I wonder if he'll take it on the road?  Would be nice if they could get up to NoCal with it.

    They only call it Class War when we fight back.

    by lineatus on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 07:56:55 AM PDT

  •  Oooh. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lineatus, papicek

    Verges on sacrilege, but what an interesting idea. My favorite version of the Ninth is the one Leonard Bernstein conducted in Berlin in December 1989; he switched Ode an die Freude to Ode an die Freiheit.

    Dear republicans: teabagging is when the gogo-boy slaps his balls into your face. Thanks.

    by MBNYC on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 07:58:44 AM PDT

  •  Thanks, this is truly music from humanity's heart (5+ / 0-)

    The Billy Bragg project sounds intriguing.

    Here's Bernstein speaking about Beethoven and the Ode to Joy, followed by the performance.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 08:05:46 AM PDT

  •  A wonderful gift for this day. Thanks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard, polar bear, princesspat

    ~~"I think we should all have to get to know each other around kitchen tables."~~ Michelle Obama

    by Anne933 on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 08:16:09 AM PDT

  •  I'll tip and rec this, although in a one-on-one (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard

    I'd give Bach the edge: just staying with Glenn Gould, e.g., his Goldberg Variations. As for Ludwig, I'm partial to the 7th, but of course O! Freunde is highly inspirational for the Easter Season.

  •  I have been listening to Beethoven (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard

    since I was a child. I am lucky enough to have performed the 9th, even once in Japan.
    I am a big Gould fan also!
    What a genius Beethoven was to include Schiller's words that have so much meaning for us today. Seems like a radical hippie poem today. There is a great German word 'Gotterfunken' at the end, meaning something like God's work, but a deeper meaning.
    If you like Gould's Goldbergs, you might like the version for string orchestra with Dmitri Sitovetsky, it has the same spirit as Gould except with strings.

  •  Amen! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard

    It always amazes me that Beethoven never actually heard it himself except in his head. He was profoundly deaf by that time. That's what always amazes me.
    Cyprien Katsaris [sp?] performed all the List transcriptions of the Symphonies several years ago.

    Gould was a wonderful player. Especially of Bach.
    Happy Easter

    "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul" -G.B. Shaw

    by daddybunny on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 11:24:24 AM PDT

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