Happy Birthday, Ludwig


Today is the 244th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth, an occasion you may wish to celebrate by watching the video below of a performance of his 9th Symphony featuring Sir Georg Solti, Jessye Norman, and the London Philharmonic. I pity the man who is unmoved by Beethoven’s music.


And now a question for the Ricochetti: Is there a musical performer alive today whose work will still be listened to and admired in 244 years? According to Billboard.com, the top spot on the chart for the past month has belonged to the song “Animals,” by Maroon 5. I confess I’ve never heard the song, and I’ve only heard of Maroon 5 in passing. Is there even the slightest chance they’ll be remembered in 200 years? In 20, or even 5? I somehow doubt it, but Beethoven’s music will live on for as long as there are people to hear it.

There are 10 comments.

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  1. Jackal Inactive

    I’m willing to bet that the default track for a shark attack will still be the Jaws theme in 200 years.

    • #1
  2. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer

    I’m hardly the best authority on music — very nearly the worst, IMHO — but I have trouble believing that The Beatles and Bob Dylan won’t be listened to for centuries.

    • #2
  3. Herbert E. Meyer Contributor
    Herbert E. Meyer

    Sure. Have you ever listened to Arvo Part’s “Spiegel im Spiegel”?

    And then there’s Franz Biebl’s “Ave Maria,” written in 1964 for the men’s choir of the Munich fire department. Listen to the version by Chanticleer. It’s stunning.

    • #3
  4. user_353507 Member

    Thanks, Jack!

    It is indeed moving!

    • #4
  5. Stad Coolidge

    Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is the single best piece of music ever written.  I heartily recommend the recordings of all the Beethoven symphonies (but the Ninth in particular) by John Eliot Gardiner.  His orchestra uses period instruments and plays each symphony in the correct time, which is typically faster than most modern versions you’ll find, but the tempo is what The Maestro wanted.

    Beethoven Symphonies

    • #5
  6. Clavius Thatcher

    I love the complexity and overlapping melodies and harmonies in his music. If you want a condensed eight minutes of Beethoven, I recommend the Egmont Overture.

    Happy Birthday Ludwig van Beethoven!

    • #6
  7. Jack Dunphy Contributor
    Jack Dunphy

    I know the standing ovation is largely an American custom, one that is frowned upon by our more cultured European betters, but still I’m baffled that the audience at Royal Albert Hall can remain glued to their seats at the conclusion of that performance, even as they erupt in enthusiastic and prolonged applause.  Perhaps no one wanted to be the first to stand and be thought of as an American.

    • #7
  8. user_11047 Inactive

    Listened to the entire performance.  Have sung it several times with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.  Once under Dr. Wm Steinberg and another time under Henry Mazer (who was Dr. Steinberg’s assistant conductor.  Henry went on to be Sir Georg Solti’s assistant conductor.

    Will post more tomorrow as I need to get to bed.  Spent the last 7 days in the hospital with horrible case of diverticulitis – the same thing I believe that befell Dave Carter.

    ‘Night all

    • #8
  9. user_11047 Inactive

    Mr. Dunphy

    Thanks so much for your concern

    • #9
  10. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    I got to sing the 9th in college. The choir director was directing the local symphony, who accompanied us.  Our choir director was no Toscannini…he got lost during the fugue at the performance.  It didn’t matter…we were flying.

    My favorite recording is the Wiener Philharmoniker, Karl Bohm conducting–also with Jessye Norman and Placido Domingo.

    I actually had never heard the entire symphony until we performed it.  When I heard the second movement, I was transported back to my childhood dinner table…it was Huntley Brinkley!

    • #10
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