Beethoven: Sparks of Joy — Wonder and human ingenuity got us to Mars, and this Beethoven song reflects upon such human qualities.
The ongoing exploration of Mars by scientists of three nations leads one to ponder the true nature of mankind and our exciting prospects for the future.
One of Beethoven’s most beautiful songs is Abendlied unterm gerstirnten Himmel (Evening Song Under a Starry Sky), which describes the effect on the soul of gazing into the night sky and contemplating the immensity of creation. In the first strophe, the thousands of stars in the night sky make the soul feel immense, lifting it out of the dust. In the second strophe, the soul feels as if it is looking “zurück ins Vaterland” (back into the fatherland), while in the next two strophes the soul soars heavenward, finally reaching “Meine Leiden schönen Lohn” (the beautiful reward of my suffering).
It’s sung here by Peter Schreier, with text in Spanish, English, and German. [Notes by Margaret Scialdone.]