“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”—
SOME THOUGHTS UPON LISTENING TO ALL NINE OF BEETHOVEN’S SYMPHONIES IN A ROW…
- Somebody on Yahoo Answers recommended this version - Riccard Muti with the Philadelphia Orchestra - as the best complete Beethoven. I thought it was okay, but a few parts - particulary #5 and #7 - seemed a bit rushed to me, IMHO.
#1 and #2 are a bit of a wash. It’s a bit of Beethoven starting out, closer to his classical ancestors than to the places he’d be known for going.
#3 - “Eroica” is pretty much where Beethoven becomes Beethoven.
#5 - The Big One. Though generally a good symphony, I think it’s much more acclaimed for those first four notes than for the rest of the symphony.
#6 - The “Pastoral” (aka The One That’s On Fantasia) has got to be one of the most melodically beautiful symphonies ever written.
#7 - Also great - the second movement is the ultimate dirge.
#8 - Probably his most underrated symphony.
#9 - The Even Bigger One. After listening to the first eight in a row, it’s quite easy to tell what makes this one so amazing. To hear the whole thing - his whole symphonic career- build up to “Ode To Joy,” is really something unparalleled.
Again, I’m no classical aficionado (more of a rock guy), but this is one of those things it’s nice to do at least once before you die.