Dear friend
During August,  Music Mondays focused on music in films. I would like to finish with the music of one of music’s titans. 
What do Visconti’s Death in Venice and Wilder’s Kiss Me, Stupid, Ahsby’s Being There, Scorcese’s The Age of Innocence, Weir’s Fearless, Redford’s The Horse Whisperer and Lester’s Help have in common?
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven. Fuer Elise (first two films) , Symphony Nr. 6 in F Major, Piano Sonata Nr. 8 in C Minor, op. 13, Concerto Nr. 5 in E flat, Sonata in F major for cello and piano, and finally, Symphony Nr. 9 in D Minor, respectively. 

We often think that masterworks were always masterworks. That was not the case with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Franz Liszt wrote in a letter in 1865: “In 1840 the Ninth Symphony was considered an absolute terror by most musicians and so-called connoisseurs of music, in Europe.” That would be anathema today. 
Attitudes change with exposure to new perspectives. We see this in everyday life, and we see this in art. Change just for the sake of change cannot be the end-all. Change for the sake of broadening and exploration and inclusivity... that is a different story. Thankfully, Liszt, the composer, was also a humanist who sought to broaden attitudes. We have to thank him for the masterful transcription for two pianos and voices of the majestic work that today stand for a celebration of humanity, unity, and joy. 

Please enjoy the gorgeous concert Dranoff presented in 2019 at  New World Symphony featuring the spectacular piano duo Chipak and Kushnir with a quartet of vocalists from Seraphic Fire - Amanda Crider. James Bass. Sarah Brailey and Brad Diamond.  

Humanity. Unity. Joy.  So needed. 


Gabriele Fiorentino 
The Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation
Piano Slam

transcription for 2 pianos by Franz Liszt

Symphony Nr. 9 in D Minor, op. 125


Ode to Joy

Joy, beautiful spark of Divinity,
Daughter of Elysium,
We enter, drunk with fire,
Heavenly one, thy sanctuary!
Thy magic binds again
What custom strictly divided;*
All people become brothers,*
Where thy gentle wing abides.

Whoever has succeeded in the great attempt,
To be a friend's friend,
Whoever has won a lovely woman,
Add his to the jubilation!
Yes, and also whoever has just one soul
To call his own in this world!
And he who never managed it should slink 
Weeping from this union!

All creatures drink of joy
At nature's breasts.
All the Just, all the Evil
Follow her trail of roses.
Kisses she gave us and grapevines,
A friend, proven in death.
Ecstasy was given to the worm 
And the cherub stands before God.

Gladly, as His suns fly
through the heavens' grand plan 
Go on, brothers, your way,
Joyful, like a hero to victory.

Be embraced, Millions!
This kiss to all the world!
Brothers, above the starry canopy
There must dwell a loving Father.
Are you collapsing, millions?
Do you sense the creator, world?
Seek him above the starry canopy!

Above stars must He dwell.

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