Had some driving to do (started moving some stuff to the new house), so I listened to Beethoven’s 6th (Pastoral) on the way up, and while I found it pleasant, it was a bit meandering for my tastes. I’ve listened my way through all nine this past week, including multiple different versions, and I really prefer the Karajan performances. On the way home I listened to a 1983 performance of the 9th (Ode to Joy), and I have to say, the Scherzo from Eroica and the 9th really are my two favorites out of all that I have listened to. I’m not sure how you can’t enjoy this:
I’m new to describing this, so bear with me, but at around the nine to ten minute mark, when the cellos and the flutes go back and forth, leading to the cellists and the bass, then building to the violinists, and then the entire symphony comes crashing through, and the hair on your arms is standing up and you find yourself smiling and your eyes are moist and you can feel your chest just about to burst- that is the closest this agnostic/atheist/indifferent has ever come to thinking there is in fact a divine creator.
It is simply other worldly. Freude, schöner Götterfunken, indeed.