Hello 2014!

Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets; art deserves that, for it and knowledge can raise man to the Divine” ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

I enjoy listening to Brahms, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and loads others, but Beethoven is, by far, my favourite.  I decided to choose this quote to herald the New Year as I want to reconnect with my writing and crafting.  

Keeping with the ‘Beethoven’ theme, here’s a link to one of my favourite pieces by him – 'Ode to Joy' (not biased by the title or anything, honest!), the choral finale of Symphony No.9.  I’m so used to finding flashmob performances for contemporary music, I was pleasantly surprised to find one for classical music.  I especially enjoyed watching the reaction of the children in the crowd, so cute.

Beethoven wrote this toward the end of his career when he was almost completely deaf, and plagued by ill-health.  He composed it by hearing it in his head, and never heard it played.  Yet he conducted it at its premiere performance in Vienna in 1824.  Apparently, when the audience applauded, he was still conducting, being several measures off.  One of the sopranos went to his side, and turned him around so he could see the audience’s reaction; they raised their hands, waved handkerchiefs and hats in the air so that, although he could not hear the applause, Beethoven could see their appreciation.

And that is one of the reasons, apart from the emotion-stirring music, that this piece inspires me and lifts my spirits. I hope it does the same for you, and fills you with creative wonderment for the New Year.