Term Paper on Beethoven's Ninth Symphony

Essay by Theneo March 2003

download word file, 3 pages 1.6 1 reviews

Downloaded 122 times

Beethoven's Ninth Symphony

It has been called the greatest audio entity one

could ever listen to; a song which can pierce the soul of

even the most dedicated music-hater: Beethoven's Ninth

Symphony. Not only has it been designated thus; also, as

one of the few truly divinely inspired works, one which most

men can only marvel at, as they wallow in their appropriate

humility. These creations, however, are definitely not the

only aspects of entities beyond the scopes of men; there are

far more examples, which are seen every day, but often


I was walking outside, with this song echoing in the

recesses of my mind, on a dismal, overcast day in the

Autumnal quarter, a day when where the streets blended with

the atmosphere, when one could hardly look up without

feeling the singe of the wind against one's face. To me,

these days have always conjured up images of some distant,

looming storm, some silent tempest which, if not otherwise

distracted will soon wreak mayhem and disaster on my


This day had an intense air about it, as do others

of its ilk. This is most likely the fault of the storm

under which it is shadowed, as though it and its inhabitants

are uneasy and harrowed about the imminent predator waiting

overhead to pounce.

As the sky overhead swam with deeper and deeper

shades of gray and hopeless black, the song in my mind was

reaching some vocal crescendo in the fourth movement, a

better foreteller of the gale I could not imagine. While

the winds bullied and tormented the defenseless

neighborhood, I started for my house.

Unexpectedly, as the crescendo was losing speed, a

quiet, pacific violin entered the musical fray in my brain,

and the entire mood of the symphony mellowed, the winds

themselves pacified, seemingly under Ludwig's fickle

dominion. Thinking the storm had passed, I continued

blissfully onward to the meadows which were my destination.

Again I was assaulted, this time by a different part

of the symphony; not too long after the first chorale. This

was the startling and almost fearful, but still uplifting,

part in which the female and male vocals collided like two

huge tidal waves with the power to splinter a fleet of ships

with the German Alle Menschen repeated several times. Upon

this onslaught of euphony, I turned from whatever I might

have been thinking before, and looked at some violently

twisting and rising leaves and other debris, and gazed at

the playful heavens, again ominous.

Annoyed with Beethoven and the cruel elements, I

stood there, unmoving; indecisive, not knowing whether to

turn around or pursue my present course, I felt the excited

chorale still striking some unknown and inexplicable fear

within me, as though some divine creature were about to

strike me down in some vehemence which lies well beyond the

realms of verbal description. So, as the chorus continued

repeating its faithful mantra, the winds again rose up

stronger than before, as twigs began to snap and fall about

me; I was still, yet deeply moved.

Perplexed at the whimsy antics of nature, I was

about to retreat to my home, when, in the remarkable

symphony, a single male vocal broke through the complicated

entanglement of godly voices, and I, despite the protests of

my superego, decided to continue on with some alien, renewed

vigor against the gusty weather, as though I were the bearer

of news about the winner of a war or some other momentous

aftermath. At this, as though impressed with my display

of singular determination, the wind made itself placid,

laying down before me.

Violins were heard, along with the driving, male

voice. Suddenly, completely without warning and all at once,

what seemed like throngs of angelic, female voices sang as

though sent on an appeal to God on the eve of apocalypse.

They continued, soon joined by male voices, and other

instruments, in the most spiritual and epiphytic

reverberation I've ever had the pleasure of witnessing, and,

seemingly, all in my favor, against cruel and remorseless

nature, pleading to let me pass. I, however, felt like only

a petty bystander in this competition between the symphony

and the elements, completely unable to comprehend, let alone

justify either side's wish, only able to observe the outcome

and obey it as the gospel that I knew it was.

Thus, whether or not I ever achieved my destination

is beside the point. My sojourn in that small neighborhood

taught me perhaps what is life's most important lesson.

This lesson is clear: there are many things in this world

completely beyond most men's small intellects. They may

manifest themselves in certain artworks, novels, or musical

masterworks; however, these manifestations only serve as

reminders to arrogant man. While it is true that these

manifestations are created by singular members of the

selfsame race, these members serve only as conduits of a

greater, nearly incomprehensible power; something which

they, themselves, may often forget.