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We go. We. Go. Commemorating the 210 of our story of the birth of Live Big Fun Beethoven in 1770. The 12th that a series of programs produced by the University of Michigan Broadcasting Service revealing the musical social and political climate of Europe during the lifetime of the man. Who freed music.
Today's host is Dr. Thomas F. Taylor of The Music history of literature department at the University of Michigan School of Music. His topic Beethoven toward the Ninth Symphony. Here now is Dr. Taylor. Load. You won't. Load was was. Low. Cut.
Was. Foam.
Only millions I embrace you with a kiss for all the world. Of all the works Beethoven wrote the Ninth Symphony is the one which the romantic century embraced for its own. Here was the great hero composer speaking for us all. Here was the all embracing work of art which was not given an easy berth but whose every feature gives evidence of struggle from conception. Even the sublime slow movement. A few of these features can be seen as having descended from parentage of earlier composers and several more are found in their guest stations stage in some of Beethoven's own works written before eight hundred twenty three. The completion date of the Ninth Symphony. Other evidence of the growth of this work can be seen in by biographical accounts. For instance there is indication in the form of a comment by a family friend as early as 1793 that the young composer intended some day to set Schiller's Ode to Joy which had been written five years earlier.
The ninth is by no means the first Choral Symphony French composers such as Francois Gothic were intrigued by a gargantuan sounds long before the requiem of Hector barely knows the German composer Peter Venter wrote a battle symphony with choral finale in 1814. Certainly Beethoven knew of works such as this. An invaluable source of knowledge about the growth of Beethoven's musical ideas are the sketchbooks where the themes can be seen undergoing considerable metamorphosis from initial idea to final form in a sketchbook of 815. The following appears as a fugue subject not really connected to other materials yet. Now. Years later it emerges in the Ninth Symphony as the driving theme of the second movement no longer just a fugue but
the exposition is still indeed fugue like prefaced by an eight bar introduction which announces the rhythm of the first move of the first measure. This rhythm will propel the entire skirt so and is retained from the 815 sketch just played it. Sketch books show the last movement to be instrumental. Up until a year before the completion of the work of the music he had in mind seems to be that which later became the last movement of the String Quartet in a minor Opus 132. Even after the symphony was completed it is reported that he confided to friends that he had second thoughts about a choral finale and he said
then that it was this theme which he would have used. This melody is some distance removed from the great choral finale. Evolution of the theme seen in the sketch books is a musical process which he often shares with us in his introductory sections to his works by trying out important musical motives or cells which then develop into the theme before our very years as early as the first symphony the last movement. He does this in a way not devoid of humor.
The ninth symphony begins with a similar process only this time it's not very funny. The two note rhythmic motive and ascending motion of the main theme are first heard in disconnected almost fragmentary form and then they expand into the great 2D explosion of the main theme.
This working out of a theme before it is arrived at occurs after the Ninth Symphony in works such as the late quartets. A number of other compositional techniques used in the Ninth Symphony can be seen in earlier works by Beethoven. His manner of ending the second movement the skirt so of the ninth recalls a similar ending to the skirts o Symphony Number seven completed in 18 12 in both the motion from the skirt so into the trio is a clearly articulated dramatic event. Here it is in the Seventh Symphony. And in the ninth.
In the seventh symphony after having heard the skirt so two times over we again are pulled into the trio and are just about convinced that we are to hear it all over again. When he closes the movement off with a few sharp strokes. We are fooled just as easily by the close of the second movement of the Ninth Symphony.
It is the last movement of the ninth which draws our attention to the dramatic scene played at the beginning of this movement has received from all quarters comments of all kinds the cellos and basses have been called the instruments of Beethoven's past trying to speak but they are insufficient for expressing the new thoughts which fill his mind in the struggle. His previous ideas the first three movements are reviewed and are dismissed and a new theme is finally tried and accepted. The recitative style of the bases comes in attempting to talk. And then a repeat of the Internet.
And then we remember this as the beginning of the first movement. That also is dismissed. By the rest of the TV. And then the beginning of the scared so. And then the adagio third movement.
It almost calms down the cellos and basses. But they burst out again. After that. Strong cadence he begins to work out the theme.
Final satisfaction and conclusion and the main theme begins. This theme will be used to set Schiller's Ode to Joy. After three instrumental variations and the dramatic entry of a baritone singing Oh friends not these tones. Rather let us take up other voices and sing of joy.
Certainly what the cellos and basses had been saying all along. The connection of this voice with those of the cellos and basses is made clear by returning to the initial struggle of the first bars of the movement. The week. The.
So the technique of instrumental recitative serves as a bridge into the vocal finale from the first three all instrumental movements. What is novel in this movement is not the use of instrumental rest of the TIV nor the dramatic struggle expressed in musical language. Many instances of instrumental rest of the TIV are evident in earlier works Franz Joseph Haydn used the technique as the second movement to his seventh symphony called me d or noon. In the three symphonies. Morning noon and evening. This trio of symphonies were the first works written by Haydn for the Esterhazy orchestra in 1761. Here the speaker is a solo violin.
Forty one years later in 18 0 2 Beethoven used the device in the tempest Sonata Opus 31 number two the drama of a struggle between thematic materials now takes place on just the piano. It is not between a soloist and an orchestra but the attempt to make an instrument sing like the human voice in rest of the TV style is again here.
Oh. The other dramatic scenes in Beethoven's works before and after the night's symphony are manifold. The struggle is almost an essential element of the master's musical language. The manner in which the soloist tamed the orchestral beast in the middle movement of the Fourth Piano Concerto is a good example. Of.
Oh. As early as 800 Beethoven had been thinking of a piece in which instrumental sections were climaxed by one with a chorus singing words in eight hundred eight. He wrote a work which premiered on the same program as both the fifth and the sixth symphonies as well as other works by the composer. The piece was called quote a fantasy a for the piano which ends with a gradual entrance of the entire orchestra and the introduction of the choruses as a finale unquote. The work was conceived and completed in an unusually short time about two weeks. There are very few sketches in preparation and he was working on no other pieces at the same time. Also remarkably unusual circumstances for Beethoven in a number of ways. This work was Beethoven's proving ground for ideas which he
extended in the Ninth Symphony at the original concert. He improvised the beginning on the piano. He later wrote down material of a similar style although probably not the same note for note. Now.
The peace has just begun. But at this point in the score there is Mark the word finale. This begins a dramatic dialogue for piano and orchestra. The piano singing in recitative style. Now the orchestra tries. The first three notes of a new melody.
And then the main theme is played in the piano. This theme is surprisingly predictive of the Ode to Joy theme of the Ninth Symphony. The theme for the choral found ASEA has a four bar phrase as its beginning.
And then that four bar phrase is repeated with now a final conclusion. In just the same way the Ode to Joy theme in the Ninth Symphony has a short four bar phrase which ends with a half closed and then a repeat of that phrase which ends in a more conclusive manner. Then both have a four bar mid section or middle phrase that for the Choral Fantasy are sounding this way. And that for the Ninth Symphony in this manner.
Even the beginning motive of those middle phrases are quite similar in nature. Notice the one in the Choral Fantasy going this way. And the motion of that in the Ninth Symphony doing very much the same kind of thing. And instead of going down by a pitch it simply repeats at the same pitch level. And then going on. And then finally both themes and with a repeat of the first four bar phrase the Choral Fantasy. And the knight symphony. A series of instrumental variations on the theme are then played in the Choral Fantasy of
just as in the Ninth Symphony one of the variations is a supply the sublime adagio with piano passage work after which comes the trial of a rhythm for a contrasting March variation. And.
The march variation in the Ninth Symphony takes place after the voices of entered but it provides a similar contrast and is approached in the same way. A.
In the coral fantasy the proceedings are broken into by a dramatic return to the piano's original improvisation and the original orchestral theme. This leads to a repeat of the groping for the theme by oboe and horn which is taken over now by voices the same technique for introduction of voice is used later in the Ninth Symphony. The only element missing is the rest of the TIV.
The short motivic vocal entry heard here has its counterpart in the Ninth Symphony. Of course the finale of the Ninth Symphony is not simply a redoing of an earlier composition. It is a far grander conception in it. The voices are active for close to 700 measures while they enter the Choral Fantasy. A quick two hundred measures before the conclusion. In the words of Billy Hess the editor of a recent edition of the Choral Fantasy. This work aims at nothing more than a charmingly serene avowal of art as the world of beauty. It is like a beautiful spring day full of flowers and sunshine. Even if a little summer lightning is introduced by the way of artistic contrast and the
verses of an anonymous poet are a simple and naive as is the music itself. The Ninth Symphony touches the eternal problem of mankind. The struggle between the forces of light and darkness. It is equally an illustration in sound of Beethoven's own wrestling with the powers of darkness and destruction which are conquered by the spirit of universal love and goodness by the joyful affirmation of Divine Light. Let us hear the last movement of the night symphony now. With.
Miller. Was. It. Who. Was. It.
Yes. Yes. I am I am I am I am.
Now they. Are. I am I
am I am I am I am. I am. The ether.
The Bill of. The Bill.
Up. Yet. Up. Land. The. Sun was. Yet. Oh. Man.
Was now close.
Or. God. Now. Now shut the. Lid. On. The.
Loose. Now. The now and. The. One on. One. Was.
Will. You all. Are. The owner.
Today's host has been Dr. Thomas F. Taylor of the music history and literature department of the University of Michigan School of Music. Speaking on the topic of Beethoven toward the Ninth Symphony the 12th in a series of programs produced by the broadcasting service of the University of Michigan revealing the musical social and political climate of Europe during the lifetime of Ludwig van Beethoven commemorating the 200 anniversary of his birth in 1770. You're invited to listen again next week at this same time for another program of the series Beethoven the man who freed music.
Beethoven: The Man Who Freed Music
Episode Number
Toward the 9th Symphony
Producing Organization
University of Michigan Broadcasting Service
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Beethoven: The Man Who Freed Music is a program from the University of Michigan Broadcasting Service and the National Educational Radio Network. The series focuses on Beethovens life and works through musical selections and lectures from faculty members at the University of Michigan. The program was originally produced in 1970 in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Beethovens birth, and was later distributed by National Public Radio.
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Producing Organization: University of Michigan Broadcasting Service
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 70-15-12 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:59:30
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Chicago: “Beethoven: The Man Who Freed Music; 12; Toward the 9th Symphony,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 28, 2021,
MLA: “Beethoven: The Man Who Freed Music; 12; Toward the 9th Symphony.” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 28, 2021. <>.
APA: Beethoven: The Man Who Freed Music; 12; Toward the 9th Symphony. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from