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Daily Beethoven — Sparks of Joy

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Schiller Institute Website Inaugurates Beethoven Celebration Postings

December 16, 2020 marks the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven.  As part  of the international celebrations this year and next year,  in honor of Beethoven, the Schiller Institute  is happy  to inaugurate a new feature on our website. We will regularly post selections of Beethoven’s music with short discussions of the pieces. 

Friedrich Schiller’s beautiful words from his poem “Ode To Joy” are magnificently memorialized in the last movement of  Beethoven’s  9th Symphony. 

Freude, schöner Götterfunken,
Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
Himmlische, den Heiligtum.
Deine Zauber binden wieder,
Was die Mode streng geteilt,
Alle Menschen werden Brüder,
Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

Seid umschlungen Millionen!
Diesen Kuß der ganzen Welt!
Brüder – überm Sternenzelt
Muß ein lieber Vater wohnen. 

English Translation

Joy, thou beauteous godly lightning,
Daughter of Elysium,
Fire drunken we are ent’ring
Heavenly, thy holy home!
Thy enchantments bind together,
What did custom stern divide,
Every man becomes a brother,
Where thy gentle wings abide.

Chorus.
Be embrac’d, ye millions yonder!
Take this kiss throughout the world!
Brothers—o’er the stars unfurl’d
Must reside a loving Father.

Schiller’s words and Beethoven’s music speak to us even more passionately and powerfully today, in these times of pandemic disease,  famine, economic crisis social unrest, and the threat of war.  Let us take Schiller and Beethoven to our hearts and minds and forge a new paradigm of peace and development for all humanity.  Listen, and let Beethoven instruct us!


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