Paper presents new perspective on Beethoven’s ‘Ninth’
Dr. James Parsons, professor of music history, presented his paper, “Beethoven’s Ninth and the Hard Work of the Enlightenment,” at the Seventeenth Biennial International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music at the University of Edinburgh.
In his paper, Dr. Parsons approached the work of Beethoven as part of a larger cultural tradition beginning in the 18th century and ending with Beethoven’s 1824 choral symphony as opposed to the traditional approach of strictly considering its isolated, musical terms. Bringing philosophy, 18thcentury German literature and musical settings of Friedrich Schiller’s poem “An die Freude” (Ode to Joy) before Beethoven, Dr. Parsons places both Schiller’s poem and Beethoven’s “Ninth” at the center of Enlightenment thinking.
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