December 17, 2007 at 4:09 AM
Bernstein conducting the Bavarian State Orchestra, Beethoveen's Fifth Symphony
“It is as though I must succumb to this world that Beethoven has created, and I suppose I almost treat it in a religious sort of way. In the world of his music, Beethoven is God. I’d never thought of it that way before, but it is as though I begin to warm up to what religious people refer to as a loving God within that musical world. I feel as though I surrender to this. I feel that there is somebody who knows this world so much better than I do – and it is Beethoven himself, who created it – and there is something very comforting about that. Somehow that gets me feeling very relaxed. I think what a privilege it is to be a part of this great, beautiful piece of music. And this helps me get rid of my nerves and stops my extraneous thoughts about technical issues and what I did or didn’t do in the practice room.”
I know that v.commies can argue endlessly about the best players and the best performances, but keep this in mind: None of these great performances would be possible without Beethoven himself.
Happy Beethoven's birthday, everyone.