Wednesday, 20 January 2016

10,000 voices Ode to Joy

Ten thousand voices in unison, singing Beethoven Ode to Joy.  A clip from the legendary concert in Sendai, Japan, on December 17th  2010, celebrating Beethoven's birthday. Genius logistics - imagine getting that many people together and running things smoothly. More importantly, though, this illustrated the meaning of the piece, the coming together of disparate people, united in harmony.  Not something to be denigrated.  Notice, no room for much in the way of audience, though - the choirs take up the whole football stadium. But the purpose of this mega-celebration was participation itself, a once in a lifetime experience of symbolic value. (full clip below)

And to prove the value of such an event look at the nasty comment below "What do they know about German culture and Music, Beethoven is from Bonn as am I, this music belongs to german people, u get yours"  Ignorance and hate always march together. Beethoven would have cringed. 

 Major l;ogistics, too, technically, aided by technology. The fashion for "Extreme singing" was huge in 19th century Europe, where 10,000-voice events weren't unknown. Since performances took place then in the open air without microphones and TV screens, the results would almost certainly have been less cohesive than this one, which I find quite moving. (Good bass, and a soprano who projects personality.)  Maybe 19th century audiences liked mass events for the sake of mass itself,   "Never mind the quality, feel the width". Being in the open air would have dissipated the music but helped the social side of things.



Tractatus said...

Wonderful to think about how they may have performed with such a large, massive ensemble periodically in the past. Do you know goof any examples of these?

Doundou Tchil said...

These extravaganzas wsre done3 because most towns had church choirs, so it was kind of a hootenany.Thus only reeligious music. Which is kind of scary, really. Like the unquestioning faith of Party Rally music.