Beethoven meets Jumbo

Beethoven meets Jumbo


norman lebrecht

September 28, 2020

It’s the Emperor.


  • John Borstlap says:

    It is quite difficult to interpret the slight movements of the animal from the moment onwards the music started, since it is well-known that elephants stubbornly refuse to say even the slightest thing about their emotional life. Are the movements signs of being musically touched by the piece? Or of suddenly remembering the peacefulness of the plain of their youth, or the bath of that morning? Or irritation about the tuning of the piano, or because they prefer the version with orchestra? Or did it think: why the heck do I have to listen to this crap? At least it did the player no harm, or did not attempt to contribute a tune with its trunk.

  • Perhaps, says:

    Mr Barton might also have played the Grieg Violin Sonata??
    Thank you Mr Barton, and You, Norman! And, …Ole Bull ? : )

  • Susan says:

    That was beautiful!!! Thank you

  • Peter San Diego says:

    What balm for the soul in this era of pandemics both viral and political. Thank you for sharing this, NL!

  • Larry says:

    Am I missing something? Exactly why is this guy playing for the elephant?

  • Pretty good concert manners.

    No coughing, no whispering.

    Moderate ear flapping is allowed, given the lack of AC at the venue.

  • Guillaume says:

    So peaceful moment ! It is wellknown elephants are very intelligent and sensible. When they balance their ears like this one they are happy and show their joy. May- be an orphan rescued.Superb.But does he prefer Beethoven…?!!!

    • John Borstlap says:

      My fly on the wall in Thailand informed me this morning that Thai elephants don’t particularly like Beethoven but are quite taken by Bruckner, especially the scherzi form the symphonies.

    • David K. Nelson says:

      I have sat next to people at concerts who have behaved far worse and shown less patience and appreciation than this lovely elephant.

      I regret to say that I have also had stand partners who smelled worse than an elephant. Even a dead one.

      The bird comments in the background are the perfect final touch.