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Into the New Year with Beethoven

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Konzerthalle Bamberg: Joseph Keilberth SaalMußstr. 1, Bamberg, Bavaria, 96047, Germany
On Tuesday 31 December 2019 at 16:00 and 19:00

The turn of the year is a joyful occasion! There is scarcely any work more fitting to mark this than Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony – a humanitarian, confessional work that has had a profound and lasting impact upon music history. However, Debussy once said: “The ‘Ninth Symphony’ has been shrouded in a fog of grand words and decorative epithets. Along with the famous ‘Smile of Mona Lisa’ – to which the strangely persistent label ‘mysterious’ has become attached – it is the masterpiece about which the most nonsense has been propagated. It is only surprising that is has not long since become buried under the mass of writing it has generated.” But perhaps it is precisely because of this “mass of writing” that the Ninth, more than any other composition, has had such a scintillating and long-lasting effect – and has become a traditional work to play on New Year’s Eve. For in its psychological symphonic journey “through night to the light”, Beethoven’s fiery Opus Magnum conveys an important message that we need to be reminded of regularly. It is a musical plea that includes a catchy setting of Schiller’s “Ode to Joy”, whose effusive pathos invokes the ideal of a society of equals, united in joy and friendship. As Beethoven himself once said: “Nobody who has really understood my music will ever be able to be completely miserable again.”

Nathalie Stutzmann became internationally known as an alto, but for years has also been conducting leading orchestras. Sir Simon Rattle said of her: “Nathalie is the real thing. So much love, intensity and sheer technique. We need more conductors like her.”

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