Beethoven ‘used salsa rhythms in his 5th symphony’

It’s a theory, no more ridiculous than some of the HIP hypotheses.

The arranger is Sverre Indris Joner.

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  • If every piece of the ‘canonic repertoire’ will be updated like this, surely the missing crowds of young people will flock to the concert halls. I can imagine the Ring getting a new audience in this way.

    • So the youthful revolution supposedly started by Waldo de los Rios in the 1970s (and probably by one or two others since whose names I’ve forgotten) didn’t work?

      Ah well – keep on trying.

  • @John Borstlap Unfortunately the solution to getting a younger generation to the concert halls is not so easy, I suspect. There has to be a big change all the way from music theorists who write about music but are not very skilled at playing an instrument themselves, and some instrumentals who perform more like music theorists than performing artists. Modern composers can’t just write for elitists. As a classical musician myself, I’m turned off somewhat when some modern composers have an attitude that seems to condescend against a layperson’s natural reaction to their works.

    Sverre Indris Joner’s is entertaining but unfortunately, this type of approach won’t work in the long run. What he is doing is imposing Beethoven’s structure in his samba arrangement. Also, the orchestral sound of Beethoven gets transformed into something more jazz-like. Something like this may work once or twice. But I suspect if more and more people arrange classical music and force it into a different structure, people may get tired of this process and find it irritating. Just my two cents.

    • Agreed. The “rule” that if a copyist was female then she must have been the composer is as true the earth is a disc. And Albert Einstein once said: “Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not yet completely sure about the universe.”

    • Men taking the credits for their wife’s work does happen – one example is the painter Margaret Keane (not exactly Beethoven, I know). She successfully sued her ex husband for claiming her godawful paintings were his work, and stealing millions of dollars in profits – the story was told in the Tim Burton movie Big Eyes. I’m pretty certain that there have been many similar cases through the ages, though we should probably leave Mrs Bach out of it

  • Beethoven was also quite good at boogie-woogie – 100 years ahead of his time. (variation movement of op 111)

    • The difference between opus 111 and boogie-woogie being, that the former expresses nervous anguish and the latter rhythmic joy. Another difference is…. but I better stop now.

  • So other than the fact that they had to significantly alter Beethoven’s music to make it fit, this proves their point?

  • I expect WFMT to begin playing this soon. Today they played the Pachelbel canon which as we know is the sign of the coming apocalypse…

  • Admit it, isn’t this the real reason why people are drawn to Dudamel and the Venezuelan Sistema? The cute factor, the exotic factor, of seeing a bunch of young Latinos play Dead White Man music?

    • And don’t forget that a) they play it very well and b) audiences are often rewarded for their patience by smashing latino music at the end of the program.

  • Is John Borstlap still here ? There was a profile in The Economist last week of the cellist Steven Isserlis which says

    “Isserlis is refreshingly ready to slaughter the avant-garde’s sacred cows, dismissing the late Pierre Boulez—the biggest such beast—as having had a deleterious effect on musical life. “Now there’s room for everybody, every style,” he proclaims cheerfully. “There’s never been such a great age for new music.”

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