This was played tonight on one of the two radio stations worth listening to in Portland (besides KBOO). Beethoven's ninth symphony. My eyes are still not dry. Yes the music is compelling. Yes the tunes familiar, but do you know the words? OH if not, please take the time to listen with a good translation in hand, and let's see if you can get up and walk steady when the last movement is over.
IMHO, this is the single strongest statement against the idiocy of war and the strongest call for unity ever in recorded history. All men shall be brothers says Schiller. Beethoven and Shiller, what a team. Better than Rogers and Hart or even Meyer and Frank, whoever they were.
Happy New Year.
All mankind shall be as brothers... All whom earth-born laws divide.
ODE TO JOY
Friedrich von Schiller
Joy, thou spark from flame immortal
Daughter of Elysium!
Drunk with fire, O heaven-born-Goddess,
We invade thy halidome!
Let thy magic bring together
All whom earth-born laws divide;
All mankind shall be as brothers
'Neath they tender wings and wide.
He that's had that best good fortune,
To his friend a friend to be,
He that's won a noble woman,
Let him join our jubilee!
Ay, and who a single other
Soul on earth can call his own;
But let him who never achieved it
Steal away in tears alone,
Joy doth every living creature
Draw from nature's ample breast;
All good men and all those evil
follow on her roseate quest.
Kisses doth she give, and vintage,
Friends who firm in death have stood;
Joy of life the warmth receiveth,
And the angels dwell with God!
Glad as burning suns that glorious
Through the heavenly spaces sway,
Haste ye brothers, on your way,
Joyous as a knight victorious.
Love towards countless millions swelling,
Wafts one kiss to all the world!
Surely, over yon stars of heaven,
A kind Father has his dwelling!
Fall ye prostrate, O ye millions?
Dost thy maker feel, O World?
Seek Him over yon stars of heaven,
Over the stars rise His pavilions!