Imagine the time. 1824 and John Quincy Adams, a Founder, is President of the United States.
One of the finest pieces of human art creation I know of is Beethoven's 9th Symphony, known as "The Chorale" symphony. Imagine that you composed, but you never physically heard it. That would make you Beethoven. There's a little bit of it that makes you, you.
Be embraced, you millions!
This kiss for the whole world!
Brothers, beyond the star-canopy
Must a loving Father dwell.
Do you bow down, you millions?
Do you sense the Creator, world?
Seek Him beyond the star-canopy!
Beyond the stars must He dwell.
Be embraced, ye millions! This kiss for the whole world!
Brothers, beyond the stars must a loving Father dwell.
Be embraced, This kiss for the whole world!
Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter of Elysium, Joy,
Beautiful spark of the gods.
These are the wildly crazy words of Schiller, that Beethoven put to music. Now, watch.
This first part, to measure against, is from 1942, April 20th; H*tlers birthday (*), Kurt Furtwangler conducting. Notice the peoples faces in both the orchestra and the audience.
Observe - the conductor is a MANIAC and the audience are zombies. Are these "millions" embraced? No. Lets move to the reconstrucion period in Europe. Earlier in threads SadButTrue urged homework re: the difference between "Manifest Destiny" and "Lebensraum."
Well, here's a 1949 offering from those who lived through "lebensraum" and are pretty much into the Marshall Plan.
There's a very sobering difference when one observes it. The Prague ("Praha" in my family) folks during the Marshall Plan years have an entirely different performance. It's workman-like, and understandably so, since they are re-building. Notice how the simpler approach yields an entirely different performance. A sober, simple and methodical aproach is entirely appropriate, free from the yolk of Nazi opression, UPLIFTING! Observe the faces between the 2 videos so far. Video 1, the Nazis suck. Look at all the crossed arms in #1 and the serious faces. There is no Joy in #1. But - people are so serious about their "Freude." ("Joy") in #2 in Marshall Plan Prague.
And now, to the most serious:
Again- look at the peoples faces, in both the orchestra and the audience. It's so simple for Bernstein and his audience. The smiles alone tell the jubilation of the performance.
Here's the way I look at this. You can only have one opportunity to bastardize a great work of humans for a political agenda. To my mind, what happens is, you get one shot at the bastardization. TIME will prove as the Great Corrector.
The Nazi types may never again appropriate Beethoven's 9th Symphony. They will have to have US give it to them to do so again. Let us keep this particular torch unto ourselves, and never surrender it lightly.
Surrender your art NOT to the service of evil. Beethoven would roll in his grave if he knew that the previous folk had ever used his Art to an ill-purposed, fascist or otherwise anti-human situation.
Be embraced ye millions - this kiss, Freedom, is for the whole world.
(*) I write the H*tler name thus, so this post shall not be found and connected to this post on a search engine.