Beethoven's Ninth Symphony
I attended Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on October 14, at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth. The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya and Southwestern Seminary Oratorio Chorus, directed by C. David Keith, performed it. Ludwig Van Beethoven composed the work. He composed it between 1811-1824. Beethoven composed the work in D minor, Op. 125 (“Choral”). His Ninth Symphony was his last symphony to compose. It was preceded by eight other symphonies. I was attracted to this work because it was the first symphony to include a choral. I found it astonishing that Beethoven was completely deaf when he finished this work.
The first movement is in sonata form - Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso. Strings and horns appear from the distance as if they had been already playing out of earshot. The music gradually intensifies in volume until the final explosion into the first subject. Then this whole process is repeated. The first movement shows a contrast of emotion that seems to return in the recapitulation before moving firmly into the minor in the coda, with the movement ending with an emphatic statement based on the first subject.
Then follows a scherzo with trio - Molto vivace - also in D minor. The scherzo itself is in sonata form with all parts repeated. The octave tuned drums immediately announcing the important role they play in the tonality of the movement as a whole. Then follows a hushed fugato, which serves an introductory purpose as the full force of the orchestra. Then follows a more harmonic path with the utmost vigor. The second subject in C major adds an unusual harmonic flavor. The trio has a quasi-pastoral flavor, The trio is played only once, although Beethoven fools us into believing we will here it once more at the end, like in the first movement but it abruptly ends.
The third movement - Adagio molto e cantabile - is quasi-variational similar and involves two themes: Adagio molto and...