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Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at the Orpheum


Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor
(one more show Monday, Jan 4, 8 p.m.)

“When I open my eyes I must sigh at what I see; it is contrary to my religion, and I must despise the world which does not expect that music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. It is the wine which inspires to new creation, and I am the Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for men, and makes them drunk with the spirit.” – Beethoven, letter to Bettina von Arnim, 1810

A toast to thee, Ludwig van
You do what no one can
Symphony No. 9, so sublime
Sweetest of your glorious wine

Schiller’s ode, “To Joy” it sings
Stories of voices,  glories of strings
120-plus in the Vancouver Bach Choir
Four featured soloists take it higher

At the first performance, 1824
When it was over they wanted more
Beethoven, deaf to the rapturous roar
Had to be turned in his chair

He could feel the applause, not hear it
And you could feel it at the Orpheum
Almost 200 years later
Beauty of a mind that so mattered

Some didn’t just stand, they leapt
Applause civil then riotous, some even wept
Think I’m exaggerating?
See it live, it’s no lie
Beethoven is more a god than a guy

“I am that which is. I am all what is, what was, what will be.”
It may sound like “What Is and What Should Never Be” by Led Zeppelin
But it’s the words of uber-ever-genius Beethoven

The music so woven, and cut out in stars
The melodies free, not held within bars

The look and sound so rich beyond royal
Timpanist brings kettledrums to a boil
Bramwell Tovey swirls in the eye of a musical hurricane
That takes you to another plane

Lifts you up never to let you down
A little bit of the old Ludwig van
Too much and not enough for any mortal man

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