Let’s make a mash-up of Beethoven’s 9th

Let’s make a mash-up of Beethoven’s 9th


norman lebrecht

September 09, 2020

Is this really such a good idea from the Atlanta Symphony?

 The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) is inviting musicians in the community to play alongside members of the Orchestra for a very special mash-up of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” for the ASO’s Virtual Stage. Musicians of all skill levels and genres are encouraged to submit a video, including violins, bassoons, kazoos, mandolins, electric violas, melodicas and more.

Submissions must be made on aso.org/playalong by Sept. 30 for a chance to be featured in the final Virtual Stage performance video.



  • Ed says:

    Sad idea.

  • Nijinsky says:

    I notice we’re still on Beethoven’s ninth, which caused a whole conflagration of composers to come to a screeching halt at that number, lest it was their last as well.

    With Beethoven’s political acumen to get custody of his brother’s child, to then cause him to try committing suicide, which failed, this isn’t more “politics,” to have the ninth afterwards?

    Much as I love Beethoven, his warmth and his passion, I find Chopin’s first piano etude to have more of “nicht diese töne,” simply a different way, than from Ludwig’s introduction to the singers. And here we go again. I also don’t particularly appreciate hearing the sopranos in the choir trying to sing hi C’s sounding like someone with their finger nails on the chalkboard, or trying to hang on to the edge of a cliff one has fallen off of. For all the “glory.” Did James Levine truly try to train people that when you’re in a burning building, and you can save someone’s life or rescue Beethoven’s 9th, to save THAT instead!? Although it’s a bit too much at large to be snuffed off from one score being burned by now.

  • Nijinsky says:

    I still love Beethoven’s ninth, despite my other comment. It’s just such a production, like sitting through a political meeting, which we’ve sat through and my head felt like it was going to fall off. Maybe it could use some lightening up.

    I had a voice teacher who sang the tenor solo all over the place, and he grew to hate the piece, but still did it for the money. When I told him that I was involved with spiritual mediums and some of the composers, if available, came through he told me ask Beethoven WHY he wrote THAT symphony, and then articulated the sopranos and their high C’s stating that he could see a small choir of trained singers singing those C’s but had had to hear untrained sopranos in choirs get up there enough that…. and he wasn’t very good at hiding his facial gestures when he thought a singer was straining too much; he had been on television with one soprano I won’t mention, and when they looked back at the take, his manager said that he clearly didn’t like THAT note.

    Although I could feel Beethoven around, simply listening, not saying anything, just his warmth, soothing gentle warmth; the only thing that he ever said through any medium was that he would create an effect, simply that, an effect; and that warmth is always there.

    I read somewhere that with the failure in trying to turn his nephew into a great performer, he turned to something to connect people more. I just think it’s such a drama, but I guess that’s just part of it in going that step further to what connects people; just doing the simplest natural thing seems to go against the indoctrination of any just about “brotherhood,” because it’s not indoctrinated, no child is born waving a flag.

    The double edged sword of politics sure is good at disassociating from how they might be causing the very problem said to be why they need membership in fixing it.

    • V. Lind says:

      (I knew it…)

    • Una says:

      I sang the soprano solo part all over the place.
      The only work whereby you get paid by the note as there are so few to sing for all four soloists compared to the poor chorus. But I loved it and would go to the Proms in London to hear it if I could. It never ceases to move me.

  • fflambeau says:

    I like the idea. Traditionalists will not, of course. So what?

  • Peter says:

    If people enjoy it, and perhaps will one day (after covid) go to a concert to hear the real thing, then why not ? If they were doing this with the local schools orchestras, the who would turn their nose up at it ?

  • John Borstlap says:

    The Torino Mandolino Ensemble have protested that their loved instruments will be included together with medolicas, which they consider not a serious classical music instrument.

    The Melodica Men however, have protested the inclusion of the mandoline, saying that such instrument would diminish the serious standing of their own instruments. An argument which is clearly supported by their latest exercise in classical music:


  • David A. Boxwell says:

    Let’s not. But, instead, let’s banish the dread phrase “mash-up.”