As with life, values and perceptions evolve. We often think that masterworks were always masterworks. That was not the case with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Franz Liszt writes 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.” Thankfully, that would be anathema today.
The Dranoff collaborated with Seraphic Fire in presenting this concert, performed on February 4, 2018 at the New World Symphony Center. Piano Duo Olha Chipak and Oleksiy Kushnir were joined by the singers Amanda Crider, Sarah Brailey, James Bass and Brad Diamond.
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.