Obscurity Knocks

Earnest, empathetic, industrious, unpretentious, gay Virgo in Milwaukee with a great life, amazing friends, and a wonderful family.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Beethoven's Ninth

I attended a concert of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra recently where the orchestra played Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as well as Copeland's Suite from Appalachian Spring conducted by Edo de Waart. The Copeland was great and quite beautiful. This was my third time hearing Beethoven's Ninth live. The first two times the orchestra was under the direction of Andreas Delfs, so it was interesting to hear the Ninth conducted by de Waart. De Waart and the orchestra were sublime in the third movement; I've never heard it sound better. As for the first, second, and fourth movements, they were excellent, yet lacking. De Waart didn't bring the passion, intensity, urgency, and thunder to these movements that I think Beethoven calls for in the Ninth. de Waart was too gentle, dainty, delicate, and passive in the first, second, and fourth movements. I found that disappointing. Perhaps it's because he's older, or maybe de Waart just isn't as passionate as Delfs. Delfs conducted the Ninth, and all the Beethoven symphonies, without a score. Delfs knows them in his heart, and that comes through in his conducting. De Waart is more intellectual, which is fine with music from the Classical or modern eras. But for music from the Romantic era, you need the heartfelt passion, which de Waart brought to the third movement but not the others. In spite of this, the fourth movement moved me to tears. The orchestra and the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus were firing on all cylinders. As I've written previously, I think that the Ninth is the pinnacle of all music.

I was glad that Neil, my parents, my brother, and sister-in-law joined me at the concert, as I think that everyone should experience the Ninth live at some point in life. Overall, a wonderful evening.


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