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Why? Will you be listening to it regularly?
Probably not. But that's not the point.

But I am always happy when an artist does something new; crosses boundaries; shakes things up some - creating havoc for those people who futilely try to keep a stiflingly hold on the things they say they love.

It's fun and a joy that it has happened at all.
 

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I know this is a discussion forum. I don't know how you're expecting me to answer, apart from what I've already said. You know what side I'm on? My side. That's it. I'm sorry I can't be any more clear than that.
I obviously realise what "side" you are on. However, I do think there is an important subdivision in that you could either: not think Wordsmith's rewriting is political; think it is political, but either agree or not care about this injection of politics. This is where I'm confused about your position.
 

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(I don't agree that the new texts are necessarily political) but let's say they did change the texts to reflect their political beliefs, you have't offered any objective reason why this is a bad thing. You've just indicated your personal aversion to it being done.

"Marin Alsop reimagines Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as a 21st-century call for unity, justice, and empowerment." (BSO website)

"In Baltimore, the new text has been created by rap artist, Wordsmith. For our final performance at Carnegie Hall, former U.S. Poet Laureate, Tracey K. Smith will do the honors. In Africa, the new text will be in Zulu; in New Zealand in the te reo Māori language but, above all, Beethoven's (and Schiller's) themes of unity, tolerance, equality, love and joy will shine through to touch new generations." (Marin Alsop on NPR)

What is your objection to this message?
I don't believe historical figures or their works should be used to support political positions unless they themselves supported those political positions. I have posted repeatedly the line in Wordsmith's poem I most object to, and would feel almost silly posting it again.
 

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I obviously realise what "side" you are on. However, I do think there is an important subdivision in that you could either: not think Wordsmith's rewriting is political; think it is political, but either agree or not care about this injection of politics. This is where I'm confused about your position.
Please, give me the space here to just say what I think, rather than attempting to put me into a box based on some sort of dichotomy.

To repeat, I don’t see the Beethoven 250 project as being political in nature. I explained earlier what I meant by that in relation to examples I gave in which the piece was manipulated for political purposes (Nazi Germany, Rhodesia under apartheid).

I've also said this before, Beethoven's 9th was political from the start. Let me go back a bit on the history of that.

Beethoven was alive at a pivotal point during the Enlightenment, which was arguably the biggest shake up for Western civilization since the Renaissance. He's in the middle of the revolutionary period, even though ideas about freedom had been floating around for a while before - e.g. Frederick the Great's Anti-Machiavel of 1740, where he argued that rulers had an obligation to govern with the interests of their subjects as the first priority - but the period following the French Revolution of 1789 was the tipping point.

Beethoven lived during a time when politicians like Metternich where worried about movements for change, he and others decided to wind back Napoleon's reforms in what became known as the Concert of Europe. It was a period of repression.

About ten years ago, I was at a concert celebrating Beethoven's birthday. During that, they played some of his works, and in between a speaker related them to anecdotes and historical events going on during Beethoven’s life. So, after they played excerpts from Ruins of Athens, he talked about how at the time Athens was in ruins, as the Greeks where fighting the Turks. After the Fidelio overture, he talked about how Beethoven needed to get around the censors by changing the setting of a story which was about citizens fighting against tyranny. Similar with the story behind Egmont.

He also spoke about other things, relating issues of Beethoven's time to the present (at the time, Julian Assange and wikileaks, and the imprisonment of the then Ukrainian president following protests there, and also war crimes trials going on in the Hague).

The Beethoven 250 project, similar to the concert I attended, is merely an attempt to examine Beethoven’s legacy by looking back and thinking about what it might mean for people today.
 

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Beethoven chose and approved of the Schiller text, and the new texts mirror the same themes. I can't respond to something you refuse to post.
Okay, I'll post it again. "Family, friends share your opinion, push for gender equality." I never refused to post it, it's just that this has now been posted (seemingly) about once per page on this thread.
 

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Please, give me the space here to just say what I think, rather than attempting to put me into a box based on some sort of dichotomy.
I'm honestly trying to understand your opinion. You have posted respectfully and seemingly in good-faith, but I have to admit I don't understand your refusal to answer the question. If my dichotomy was false (e.g., either you dislike what's being done to Beethoven's ninth now, or you agree with what Hitler did or some other absurdity), then I understand not answering, but I think it very clearly

To repeat, I don’t see the Beethoven 250 project as being political in nature. I explained earlier what I meant by that in relation to examples I gave in which the piece was manipulated for political purposes (Nazi Germany, Rhodesia under apartheid).
Just to be very clear, the politicisation I believe has been done here is to the Nazi's politicisation of Beethoven's ninth as shoplifting is to mass murder. I also don't think the Beethoven 250 project is political in nature, however, I believe it has been politicised.

I've also said this before, Beethoven's 9th was political from the start. Let me go back a bit on the history of that.

Beethoven was alive at a pivotal point during the Enlightenment, which was arguably the biggest shake up for Western civilization since the Renaissance. He's in the middle of the revolutionary period, even though ideas about freedom had been floating around for a while before - e.g. Frederick the Great's Anti-Machiavel of 1740, where he argued that rulers had an obligation to govern with the interests of their subjects as the first priority - but the period following the French Revolution of 1789 was the tipping point.

Beethoven lived during a time when politicians like Metternich where worried about movements for change, he and others decided to wind back Napoleon's reforms in what became known as the Concert of Europe. It was a period of repression.

About ten years ago, I was at a concert celebrating Beethoven's birthday. During that, they played some of his works, and in between a speaker related them to anecdotes and historical events going on during Beethoven’s life. So, after they played excerpts from Ruins of Athens, he talked about how at the time Athens was in ruins, as the Greeks where fighting the Turks. After the Fidelio overture, he talked about how Beethoven needed to get around the censors by changing the setting of a story which was about citizens fighting against tyranny. Similar with the story behind Egmont.

He also spoke about other things, relating issues of Beethoven's time to the present (at the time, Julian Assange and wikileaks, and the imprisonment of the then Ukrainian president following protests there, and also war crimes trials going on in the Hague).
I think I understand this, and the political context of Beethoven's ninth. Nowadays, in Western countries, however, it is entirely apolitical.

The Beethoven 250 project, similar to the concert I attended, is merely an attempt to examine Beethoven’s legacy by looking back and thinking about what it might mean for people today.
Yes, and Wordsmith found his own political opinions in Beethoven's ninth as "what Beethoven means to people today". Then, he politicised Beethoven to support these (his own) opinions. This is what I have an issue with. Art, music especially, can be found to support practically any cause, and this is especially true when it is take in a modern context. If it becomes acceptable to change the lyrics to advertise what you think the music means, politically, today, it becomes acceptable to co-opt any musician's music for most any political cause. I, personally, do not like this direction.
 

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Okay, I'll post it again. "Family, friends share your opinion, push for gender equality." I never refused to post it, it's just that this has now been posted (seemingly) about once per page on this thread.
You see this as "political": I don't. It seems to me a logical extension, a modern expression of the idea of brotherhood and equality. We live in communities where equality remains elusive, only now, those who feel disenfranchised have means other than the pitchfork and physical riot to express their dissatisfaction with how things are.

I think I said earlier that I doubt Beethoven/Schiller really had everyone in mind (women too? what about gays?) when he wrote of "brotherhood". If he didn't, it's perfectly legitimate to say that we should build on his wondrous expession of humanity, and it's not "political" to do so. If he did have everyone in mind, then he was as political as the LvB 250th project.
 

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Okay, I'll post it again. "Family, friends share your opinion, push for gender equality." I never refused to post it, it's just that this has now been posted (seemingly) about once per page on this thread.
I'm not certain exactly what Schiller meant by "Thy magic binds again what custom strictly divided; all people become brothers...". The late 1700s were different from now, but those words seem fairly radical to me for that time. They also seem to speak of unity and possible equality. I don't see gender equality as being so very different from striking down divisive customs and everyone becoming brothers.

Is your complaint for the overall project mostly due to those words? It seems to me that the project is rather larger than that part of Wordsworth's poem. For example, Smith's poem seems apolitical to me, and asking people to submit videos about joy seems quite in line with Schiller's poem.
 

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Okay, I'll post it again. "Family, friends share your opinion, push for gender equality."
Two points:

1. I interpret this is as more of more cultural issue than political. Societal attitudes about sexual orientation and gender identity have evolved or developed over time, and Western culture and societies today are different from that of Beethoven's time.

I don't see it as such a problem or abuse of the text Beethoven chose as you apparently do. For his time Beethoven could be seen proposing somewhat radical ideas about class and equality which might have been perceived as almost revolutionary by his audience.

2. There is nothing wrong with advocating for gender equality. It is all a part of a gradual recognition in our society of individual rights concerning a person'a private nature and a rejection of outmoded roles for men and women. It is a contemplation that gender is not either/or but a continuum with gradations of influence of the two biological sexes.

This "non-binary" concept is one which took me by surprise when I first heard of it. But it seems to be something the generation born in the 1990s has embraced. To use this kind of language is perfectly suited for the demographic this re-imagining of Beethoven is probably targeting. Certainly not the traditional, and older, Classical community.
 

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I'm honestly trying to understand your opinion. You have posted respectfully and seemingly in good-faith, but I have to admit I don't understand your refusal to answer the question. If my dichotomy was false (e.g., either you dislike what's being done to Beethoven's ninth now, or you agree with what Hitler did or some other absurdity), then I understand not answering, but I think it very clearly
I think ultimately its just a case of me not interpreting the project the same way as you do.

Just to be very clear, the politicisation I believe has been done here is to the Nazi's politicisation of Beethoven's ninth as shoplifting is to mass murder. I also don't think the Beethoven 250 project is political in nature, however, I believe it has been politicised.
We can momentarily put the horrors of Nazism and apartheid to one side, and just purely look at what they did with Beethoven's 9th. They used music as a type of political window dressing, and none of that type of thing is being done in the Beethoven 250 project.

I think I understand this, and the political context of Beethoven's ninth. Nowadays, in Western countries, however, it is entirely apolitical.
Generally it isn't, but it can be, depending on context. Marin Alsop has mentioned some of the positive ways that the piece has been used - e.g. adopted as the anthem of the Council of Europe, sung by protesters in Chile against Pinochet and of course her mentor Bernstein's performance of it at the time of German reunification.

Yes, and Wordsmith found his own political opinions in Beethoven's ninth as "what Beethoven means to people today". Then, he politicised Beethoven to support these (his own) opinions. This is what I have an issue with. Art, music especially, can be found to support practically any cause, and this is especially true when it is take in a modern context. If it becomes acceptable to change the lyrics to advertise what you think the music means, politically, today, it becomes acceptable to co-opt any musician's music for most any political cause. I, personally, do not like this direction.
Again, I think the poem fulfills the brief of the project, which is stated as:

When Beethoven incorporated Friedrich Schiller’s poem “Ode to Joy” into his Ninth Symphony, it was a radical call for equality, freedom, and brotherhood. All Together: A Global Ode to Joy reimagines Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony as a 21st-century call for unity, justice, and empowerment.
* All Together: A Global Ode to Joy

The brief doesn't limit itself to what Schiller, or others of the period, thought about equality and so on. Its reimagining the ode, and looking at how the legacy of the Enlightenment can be interpreted today. Our interpretation of what the message of this piece says to us today can definitely have a political element to it, but the aim of this project is specifically to commemorate, not to push some political agenda.
 

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Probably not. But that's not the point.

But I am always happy when an artist does something new; crosses boundaries; shakes things up some - creating havoc for those people who futilely try to keep a stiflingly hold on the things they say they love.

It's fun and a joy that it has happened at all.
What a grand contribution to culture.
 

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Everyone is conservative about things he loves (i.e. what we love we want to keep and not have destroyed or even changed). That's one reason why although it has been a old hat for a long time the provocation by disruption or distortion of beloved art works works so well.
 

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Everyone is conservative about things he loves (i.e. what we love we want to keep and not have destroyed or even changed). That's one reason why although it has been a old hat for a long time the provocation by disruption or distortion of beloved art works works so well.
Same reason we don’t want anyone to make ‘improvements’ to the Mona Lisa. We rather like it as it is.
 

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Bach, BWV 1083.

(Plus all his other arrangements, also of his own works, alternating between secular and religious meanings.)

I liked Mussorgsky's Pictures... as it was: a piano composition.
But I'm perfectly fine with the probably dozen orchestrations.

(Plus all the hundreds, if not thousands of changes and arrangements of musical stuff by hundreds, if not thousands of composers or artists.)

I won't visit such an Alsop Beethoven concert, I won't buy the disc, but for the rest I would say: go, Marin, go!
 

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Same reason we don’t want anyone to make ‘improvements’ to the Mona Lisa. We rather like it as it is.

Like Warhol, Alsop has not changed anything for eternity in the original (the score, if you wish).

In the weeks, months and years after her concert, thousands of other people will be able to visit concerts where still Beethoven's 'original' composition is performed.

As someone in the early stages of this thread mentioned: much ado about nothing.
If you don't like it (like I probably would too), stay away from it.
If you think: hmmm... could be interesting: buy a ticket.
 

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Like Warhol, Alsop has not changed anything for eternity in the original (the score, if you wish).

In the weeks, months and years after her concert, thousands of other people will be able to visit concerts where still Beethoven's 'original' composition is performed.

As someone in the early stages of this thread mentioned: much ado about nothing.
If you don't like it (like I probably would too), stay away from it.
If you think: hmmm... could be interesting: buy a ticket.
The thread was about whether or not we are interested in the vandalism to Beethoven’s masterwork. I just said I am not. May I ask you if you attended this august occasion?
 
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