Beethoven's Ninth Symphony
Performed at the Verdi Tuning (C=256Hz)
March 25, 2010
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LaRouche Youth Movement
Performs Beethoven's 9th Symphony at C=256
Recorded in Berlin, March 25, 2010
In this year of 2010, we are not only experiencing a breakdown-crisis of our economy, but also of our very society, and its culture. While the City of Essen is being celebrated as the “Capital of Culture”, massive austerity is being implemented, leading to the shutting of theaters, orchestras and other important cultural institutions. Disillusioned youth without any sense of a brighter future and living in a culturally pessimistic society, fall into crime and drug abuse -- the same drugs from which international financial cartels make huge profits, and which also finance the terrorists that are killing soldiers in Afghanistan today.
However, only when it is dark enough can one see the stars, and it is only the realization of the highest ideals concealed "überm Sternenzelt" (“above the stars”) through which mankind can now be saved from entering a planetary New Dark Age. Therefore, the Schiller Institute has taken it as its mission to recreate these most noble achievements of humanity so far, and to bring them where they belong: with the people.
In a series of concerts, being performed as integral parts of Schiller Institute events, the LaRouche Youth Movement has presented their work on the final chorus of Ludwig van Beethoven's 9th Symphony, set to the text of Friedrich Schiller's “Ode an die Freude” (“Ode to Joy”). This achievement by an amateur chorus would have been virtually impossible if not for the rigorous working out of the ideas behind the notes and words, the passion of reliving the experience of creativity, and, last but not least, rehearsing and performing the work in the scientifically correct musical tuning of C=256 Hz, rather than the prevalent, anti-musical and vocally destructive tuning of the Romantic School's A=440 or higher (see below).
This studio recording, which we now present to you, should be seen as a demonstration of what a group of passionate young people, most of them without any prior musical education, are able to achieve when the pursuit of happiness and commitment to creating a better future, become greater than the common pessimistic small-mindedness. Take this as an example of what the next generations have the potential to create, if they are given the means to do so. And in that case, this will signify the first steps toward a new Classical Renaissance for Mankind!
It should also be mentioned that throughout history, Beethoven's 9th symphony has at times been misused for political purposes. The latest in this series of perversions is Herbert von Karajan's reductionist arrangement, currently used by the European Union as their "alibi" for committing atrocities. For instance, it was played during the signing ceremony of the totally undemocratic Lisbon Treaty, which was rammed through without referendum and is intended to abolish the principle of the sovereign nation-state. In stark contrast to the EU's deliberate elimination of the rich heritage of European cultures, to be replaced by a bureaucratic, uniform prison of soulless directives, rules und norms, our rendition of the 9th Symphony today represents the true spirit of Beethoven's work and the living embodiment of the universal content of Schiller's poem. Today, as in 1989 or in every time of great crisis, this is what a culture-starved population really needs -- freedom!
Why C=256? Return to Truth, Beauty and Classical Culture!
The Schiller Institute, which represents these ideas internationally, has become known for its initiative to lower the international standard musical pitch to middle-C=256 cycles per second (corresponding to approximately A=430 to 432), in order to preserve the human voice and to return the performance of Classical music to that of the composers' poetic intentions. The Institute's 1992 publication of A Manual on the Rudiments of Tuning and Registration, Vol. I, Introduction and Human Singing Voice, demonstrates that the natural C=256 tuning is grounded in the physical laws of our universe, and is creating an educated leadership in the music world to restore the pitch to that for which all the great Classical music from Bach through Verdi was written -- known as the "Verdi pitch" -- and to save the human voice.
The great Italian composer and nation-builder Giuseppe Verdi, in 1884, wrote a letter to the Music Commission of the Italian Government, proposing that the classical tuning of A=432 be adopted, in order to respect singing voices and promote classical interpretation. He also asked the "whole music world" to also adopt this tuning too, since "music is a universal language, and why should an A in Paris be a B flat in Rome?"
No less than a revolution in musical history was unleashed on April 9, 1988 in Milan, Italy, when the Schiller Institute brought together some of the world's most highly regarded Classical singers and instrumentalists, to demand a return to rationality in musical tuning and performance. At a conference on ”Music and Classical Aesthetics,” held at the Casa Giuseppe Verdi, speakers, including Helga Zepp-LaRouche, chairwoman of the Schiller Institute and one of the initiators of the campaign, called for an end to the high-pitched tuning, which has been literally destroying all but the most gifted voices during the past century, and for a return to the principles of Classical aesthetics, according to which the process of musical composition is just as lawful as are the orbits of the planets in the solar system.
The Milan conference also heard presentations on the art of violin making on the scientific basis of the C=256 tuning, and an appeal by renowned soprano Renata Tebaldi on the absolute necessity to reverse the tendency toward raising the pitch in performance, in order to save the voices of today's and tomorrow's singers. World-famous Verdi baritone Piero Cappuccilli demonstrated the difference between the Verdi tuning and today's higher pitch by singing two Verdi arias in the two tunings.
The fact that the level of pitch is no mere professional detail, was underlined by the star-studded list of endorsers of the Schiller Institute's campaign. That list included: Sopranos Montserrat Caballé, Renata Tebaldi, Joan Sutherland, Birgit Nilsson, Anneliese Rothenberger, Grace Bumbry, and Edda Moser; mezzo-sopranos Marilyn Horne and Christa Ludwig; tenors Carlo Bergonzi, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Alfredo Kraus, Peter Schreier, and Giuseppe Di Stefano; baritones Piero Cappuccilli, Sherrill Milnes, Renato Bruson, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau; basses Kurt Moll and Ruggero Raimondi; Norbert Brainin, former first violinist of the Amadeus Quartet; and hundreds of others. The Institute's work in this regard has continued to radiate internationally since 1988, affecting virtually every major musical institution and performer worldwide.
Toward a Culture of Agape
We find beauty in living matter surrounding us in nature, and we may try -- more or less successfully, depending on the tools and education available to us -- to imitate nature's beauty; but what really distinguishes us human beings from mere beasts is the ability we have to willfully, by our creative reason, create higher orders of beauty, such as musical composition, and to share that beauty with our fellow citizens and future generations. The specific quality of emotion associated with this generous sharing of the beauty you have created, is appropiately termed Agape, love of mankind. This is the quality that can sometimes, as in the case of our offerings of the "Ode to Joy", evoke "tears of joy" from anyone who comes into contact with it. Classical musical performance, when it is performed in a proper setting at C=256 and with passion, celebrates and affirms both human creativity and Agape.
How different will this world be, the day when every child gets taught to sing using bel canto methods, and is able to participate, from the inside, in great classical music! This is what brings hope to a world currently filled with ugliness. Then, parents with tears of joy in their eyes, will be watching and listening to their children sing in choruses, with a sense of pride of what the young generation is able to create, and a sense of hope that, after all, there might be a future.
Motivführung in Beethoven (5 videos)
The Substance of Morality by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
Behind the Notes by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. March 9, 1997
Bach's "Jesu Meine Freude": Text, Translation and LYM Rehearsal with John Sigerson, September 2006