09 November 2008

Beethoven's Ninth on the Eighth

On Saturday night Beethoven's Ninth Symphony was performed at the Alberta Bair Theatre by the combined forces of the Billings Symphony, under the direction of Anne Harrigan, and the Billings Chorale, under the direction of Steven Hart, with four splendid soloists as well. Magnificent does not do it justice. Mr Beethoven shredded the arguments of the relativists: Every seat was filled and there were some standing and all cheered for a surprising number of minutes at the end.

I'm not sure if they used Mahler's alterations or not but the texture of the inner parts with all the bells and whistles was crystal clear where I sat. The bassoons and horns in particular were notable especially the 4th horn solo stuff. Usually you remember the 4th movement but I was bowled over by the 3rd last night.

The choir was in full open throat position. The thrumming of the basses on the Joy part increased the buzz deep in our cerebral hemispheres, and probably deeper than that and more midline. Freude! Freude! Ecstasy! Ecstasy!

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