Monday, February 18, 2008

Bernstein on Music and Beethoven

I came across two You Tube clips. I didn't know that the great Leonard Bernstein was as brilliant a communicator as he was a conductor.

The first is an absolutely fabulous description (overture!) of Beethoven's music and in particular, his Ninth Symphony. Bernstein describes Beethoven's music "accessible without being ordinary". Bernstein goes on to describe the Final movement of Ninth Symphony, where Beethoven sets to music Freidrich Schiller's poem 'Ode to Joy', as a "celeberation of the birthday of music itself"!

The second is a brief, but brilliant exposition of what music expresses and how it does so. He claims that music is a metaphorical language that explores our psychic landscapes and is capable of "naming the un-namable and communicating the unknowable".

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