Eucatastrophe of Beethoven

Eucatastrophe of Beethoven


The extraordinary spirit of Beethoven’s music has been a subject of much thought in 2020, the Jubilee year of the great composer. It is the year when I and the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie recorded Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1.

History decided for Beethoven’s Jubilee year to coincide with the global pandemic. The nations of the world have gone through a lockdown; culture has gone underground. As a consequence, the interrupted celebration of Beethoven‘s Year has taken on a whole different meaning. What an irony! The very essence of Beethoven‘ creation, namely, the spirit of ​​resistance and freedom has been locked down itself. Nevertheless, it is a very fortunate irony. For the raising discontent with the state-imposed constraints and, consequently, sincere longing for freedom evokes in us this spirit, thus, enabling to celebrate the Jubilee most authentically. Beethoven never accepted life as a comfortable existence: what is considered “normal” must be broken; painfully, but meaningfully, to consciously choose what is authentic to human existence. This challenge, now of ours, urges us to overcome uncertainties, fears, to be yourself, be free and dignified human being. So, in the spirit of Beethoven, what seems disturbingly „not normal“, even catastrophic, is resolutely transformed. It becomes, to use the word invented and saturated with meaning by J. R. Tolkien – eucatastrophe, i.e. “the sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with a joy that brings tears. And I was there led to the view that it produces its peculiar effect because it is a sudden glimpse of Truth, your whole nature chained in material cause and effect, the chain of death, feels … a sudden relief ”. Let us hear how every sound of Beethoven’s music expresses the deepest desire of human nature – to break free.


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