almost a diary, music

Ode An Die Freude.

Brad DeLong always finds a new twist to inquire about the fundamentals of human civilisation – here’s what he writes today:

“By what right is Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony so damn good?
Why do we like it so much?”

The 4th movement was my first hit-single, believe it or not. And deaf Ludwig van B. was my first pop-star, when I was six (it never mattered that much that the words are actually Schiller’s). I even got the orchestral score as a Christmas present once – although I would not recommend trying to play it on solo-piano. It just doesn’t sound like it does in the Berlin philharmony, if you know what I mean.

I largeley quit classic music as a teenager, for obvious reasons. But one of the few pieces I voluntarily listened to (as opposed to being forced to listen to by well-meaning parents) even during that period was Beethoven’s ninth.

So why do “we” like it that much? Maybe because it is an ode to joy written by a man whose will was strong enough to cope with the hardest of all fates for a composer – deafness. Maybe because it reassures us that whatever seemingly insurmountable problem may appear one day, there is always hope. [author off to look for CD]

almost a diary, music, oddly enough

Spring Cold.

Sorry for the apparent lack of entries, but even though the weather is brightening up in Southern Germany, I was hit by a pre-spring/post-carnival cold yesterday and so I’m not really in screen-staring mood. And there’s so much I would like to write about – the latest developments re Iraq, my best guess for Bush’s non-war exit strategy, exciting developments in German higher education, and, obviously, yesterday’s serious economic policy bashing by the Bundesbank which is obviously as scared as it gets of a possible downgrade of Germany’s debt rating.

But above all, on the day on which the first “German Idol” will be elected by tens of millions of phone calls, I would have loved to write something more detailed about an amazing documentary on ZDF television which covered the casting for the “Arabic Idol” [link in German]. When I see expressions of the ongoing Islamic reformation as vital as that, I can’t help but wonder if the “Arabic Idol’s” life will be made easier by a war that is likely going to seriously discredit the less inhibted, western lifestyle these young people seem to have discovered on their own.

I very much doubt it.

music, oddly enough

So this is Chrismas.

It happened. Yesterday I heard ‘Wham’s’ ‘Last Christmas’ for the first time this year. But it’s getting worse. It was not even the original. It was a cover version. Can you believe there are people out there making money by covering a ‘Wham’ christmas carol in 2002? That’s almost as strange as the story of the person jailed for cannibalism in Germany today. He apparently found someone through the Internet who was willing to be first killed and then eaten.

In light of this, I am going to repeat some valuable advice once more: In the Internet, you never know who you’re talking to. So please, be careful in case you click on any of those spam-mail links offering digitised female attention. Maybe the Beauty turns out to be the Beast.