Yesterday, our bus parked in Detroit, and I saw this message printed on windows:
Create the things you wish existed.
I was on that bus with many choral singers. We were headed to Orchestra Hall to rehearse Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. We have performances of it this weekend.
I’ve written a lot about Beethoven over the last nine months. I’ve been inspired by his music as the UMS Choral Union, our choir, has had four performance weeks of his works over the last year.
The 9th Symphony is truly a burst of joy, and I marvel at how it has uplifted people over time. I associate it with pivotal historical events like the falling of the Berlin Wall. I think about how that first audience almost 200 years ago lept to its feet at the end and threw hats in the air so Beethoven could see their appreciation and joy. He had composed something so masterful after losing his hearing completely.
And I think about how we need joyful inspiration now.
I know I do.
Last night at the rehearsal, Maestro Leonard Slatkin, our conductor, encouraged us to get out of the music on the written page and create a musical experience that will uplift and inspire.
“Think of the mess the world is in right now. For a moment, take us out of it. . .” he said.
Sounds like we need to create what we wish existed.
The text of this music talks about the worth and connectedness of humanity. It marvels about the sky of the universe – under the star-tent, it says – and wonders who or what might have created it all. Above all, it has exclamations of joy.
So tonight, we create that. We create the wonder of that wished-for recognition.
My other pieces about Beethoven performances have been some of my favorite posts this year. Feel free to check those out too: