Obey Beethoven

     I saw this ad around the 14th St. subway station a while ago.  RAD!!!

     I remember a film I watched about Beethoven called “Immortal Beloved.”  It was good–not spectacular, but definitely worth seeing.  One of the things that struck me the most was the sets and art direction–the attention to details, like fruit on a table.  Some scenes looked just like paintings.

     One of my favorite scenes–the one I’ve always remembered–is the scene where Beethoven says that “the power of music is to carry one directly into the mental state of the composer.  The listener has no choice.  It is like hypnotism.”

     I think that is very true.  Compared to some, I’m not a huge music lover, but of course I like to listen to it regularly–who doesn’t?  Does anyone dislike music?  I went to a concert at NJPAC a while ago–the program consisted of Russian composers, I think mostly Romantics.  I scored great tickets right up front, so I could see the musicians playing.  I loved that.  (I love to watch people doing whatever it is that they love to do–I think that is when they are at their most attractive.)

     The performance was excellent and I was fascinated with the way the musicians were transformed by their work.  The intensity of their focus, and the way they would sway their bodies or tap their feet, even when they were not playing.  The way they had tapped into that mystical hive-mentality or emotional state that exists when people are working tightly with each other.

     I looked at the conductor.  He was transported, almost floating off the floor.  The expression on his face was joyous.  I really can’t describe it.

     Music must do something to the brain.  The effects of it are primordial, somehow.

    Oh, I looked on youTube–here’s the scene from Immortal Beloved–I guess other people liked it, too:

3 thoughts on “Obey Beethoven”

  1. “Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything. It is the essence of order and leads to all that is good and just and beautiful.” — Plato

    I’m not sure if this is an authentic Plato quote or not, but it was on the back of a Tom T Hall album in the 1970’s. If Tom T Hall says Plato said this, I believe him.


  2. Obey Thoven

    Makes me think of Chuck Berry telling him to roll over.

    Music does something for the soul. Music provides the soundtrack to life. I entertain myself to no end picking music to accompany my blog.

    I played when I was younger and occassionally dabble with learning again. Music transports, heals, and nourishes.

  3. Outstanding quote, John. I’m with you and Plato on this one. Or Tom T. Hall. Whomever.

    Advo, what did you play? My parents (well, mother) paid for years of piano lessons for me. I have zero inherent musical ability and my rhythm is bad. Everything I play is out of tune. I’m shocked my music teacher never shot me to put us both out of our misery.

    I did learn to read music, however, which was very neat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.