Marin Alsop replaces Schiller with rapper in Beethoven’s 9thNews
From a new essay by Heather MacDonald:
On April 7, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, led by Marin Alsop, will take textual intervention one step further. A poem by Baltimore-based rapper Wordsmith will replace Friedrich Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” in a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Wordsmith has explained his goals in the rewriting: to use “present-day social issues to highlight the need for positive reinforcement. Encouraging gender equality, cultural acceptance, and living a purpose-driven life are worldly topics I sought to shine a light on during the writing process.”
The result is a radical change of register. Instead of Schiller’s opening stanza:
Freude, schöner Götterfunken,
Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!
[Joy, bright spark of divinity,
Daughter of Elysium,
Drunk with fire we tread
Live and love with open mind let our cultures intertwine.
Dig deep down, show what you’re made of, set the tone it’s time to shine.
We must fight for equal rights and share some common courtesy.
While pursuing all your dreams spread your joy from sea to sea.
Read on here.