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musik artikel (Interpretation und charakterisierung)

Ludwig van beethoven (1770-1827): symphony no. 9 in d minor, opus 125, fourth movement 23:22


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Text: portions of \"Ode to Joy\" by Friedrich Schiller

I wrote this analysis of the last movement of Beethoven\'s Ninth Symphony to aidmy students in following along as the music played. The timings are based onthe classic 1952 recording conducted by Arturo Toscanini (RCA Victor Gold Seal)60256-2-RG), but the timings could be adjusted to fit any other recording.Please keep in mind that this was written by a non-musician for non-musiciansin a general humanities class and does not pretend to be a technicalanalysis--just a way of helping beginning listeners to classical musicappreciate what is going on.

Elapsed time
0:00 The movement opens agitatedly as the orchestra picks up fragments of one theme after another from the previous three movements, as if seeking a satisfactory vehicle for its expression; but each is discarded in turn.
1:15 The first seven notes of the main theme to come are tentatively uttered, but it too is abandoned as the search continues.
2:17 Once again the theme begins, this time in the woodwinds, but it soon breaks off.
2:46 Finally, the theme emerges decisively in the basses for a subdued first statement.
3:24 The second statement is calm, tranquil, confident, and the theme continues onward in the various voices of the orchestra, broad and flowing.
4:38 The winds make a strong statement of the theme.
5:49 The flow of the music abruptly halts--there are rapid shifts--great agitation, until
6:02 the orchestra introduces the baritone singing the first three lines of the poem, rejecting the feverish discords of the previous passage, calling for a different music, whose nature is suggested by the strings beneath his voice:
O Freunde, nicht diese Töne,

O friends, not these notes!
sondern lasst uns angenehmere

Rather let us take up something more
anstimmen, und freudenvollere.

pleasant, and more joyful.
6:43 The chorus echoes his \"Freude!\" and he is off through the firstpart of the ode on the main theme:

Freude, schöner Götterfunken

Joy, lovely divine light,

Tochter aus Elysium

Daughter of Elysium

Wir betreten feuertrunken,

We march, drunk with fire,

Himmlische, dein Heiligtum.

Holy One, to thy holy kingdom.

Deine Sauber binden wieder,

Thy magic binds together

Was die Mode streng geteilt;

What tradition has strongly parted,

Alle Menschen werden Brüder,

All men will be brothers

Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.
Dwelling under the safety of your wings.
7:12 The chorus recapitulates the last four lines of this section.
7:30 The theme is now presented by a vocal quartet, which continues the ode:

Wem der grosse Wurf gelungen,
He who has had the great pleasure

Eines Freundes Freund zu sein
To be a true friend to a friend,

Wer ein holdes Weib errungen,
He who has a noble wife

Mische seinen Jubel ein!
Let him join our mighty song of rejoicing!

Ja--wer auch nur eine Seele
Yes--if there is a solitary soul

Sein nennt auf\' dem Erdenrund!
In the entire world which claims him--

Und wer\'s nie gekonnt, der stehle
If he rejects it, then let him steal away

Weinend sich aus diesem Bund.
Weeping out of this comradeship.
alternating with the chorus, which repeats the last four lines, and the quartetthen sings:
Freude trinken alle Wesen

All beings drink in joy
An den Brüsten der Natur;

From nature\'s breasts.
Alle Guten, alle Bösen

All good and evil things
Folgen irher Rosenspur.

Follow her rose-strewn path.
Küsse gab sie uns und Reben

She gives us kisses and grapes,
Einen Freund, geprüft im Tod;

A friend, tested unto death,
Wollust ward dem Wurm gegeben,

Pleasure is given even to the worm
Und der Cherub steht vor Gott.

And the cherubim stand before God.
with the chorus repeating the last four lines of this section. Each timethrough the theme is treated to ever more elaborate variations.
9:10 There is a dramatic pause at the climax of the word \"God\", andthe theme emerges rhythmically transformed in the winds as a military march,matching the martial words of the tenor in these lines:
Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen

Happy, like thy Sun which flies
Durch des Himmels prächt\'gen Plan,

Through the splendid Heavens,
Wandelt, Brüder, eure Bahn,

Wander, Brothers, on your raod
Freudig, wie ein Held zum Siegen.

Joyful, like a hero going to victory.
10:53 An orchestral interlude.
12:30 The chorus re-enters, repeating these lines :

Freude, schöner Götterfunken

Joy, lovely divine light,

Tochter aus Elysium

Daughter of Elysium

Wir betreten feuertrunken,

We march, drunk with fire,

Himmlische, dein Heiligtum.

Holy One, to thy holy kingdom.

Deine Sauber binden wieder,

Thy magic binds together

Was die Mode streng geteilt;

What tradition has strongly parted,

Alle Menschen werden Brüder,

All men will be brothers

Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.
Dwelling under the safety of your wings.
13:16 There is a dramatic shift, and the poem continues:

Seid umschlungen, Millionen!
Be embraced, you multitudes,

Diesen Küss der ganzen Welt!
In this kiss of the entire world.

Brüder--überm Sternenzelt
Brothers--over the canopy of stars

Muss ein lieber Vater wohnen!
A loving Father must live.

and these lines are then repeated.
15:14 The religious section of the ode begins as the chorus intones in an awedmanner: Ihr stürt nieder, Millionen?

Millions, do you fall upon your knees?
15:30 The music rises hopefully toward God and the heavens as the final lines ofverse are sung:

Ahnest du den Schöpfer, Welt?
Do you sense the Creator, world?

Such\' ihn überm Sternenzelt!
Seek Him above the canopy of stars!

Über Sternen muss er wohen.
Surely He lives above the stars.
16:58 The last section, from \"Seid umschlungen, Millionen!\" isrepeated triumphantly in counterpoint.
18:36 A dramatic hush, the music rises steadily.
19:23 The quartet then re-enters with the following lines from the beginning ofthe poem:

 
 




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