Monday, February 13, 2012

Half a Million Beethoven Fans Can't Be Wrong

When mass protests were held last October in the U.S. and around the world, sparked by the burgeoning Occupy movement, the biggest turnout was in Madrid, where half a million gathered. And what, by many accounts, was the highlight of the event? None other than a small, local orchestra playing the "Ode to Joy" and finale of the 9th Symphony, with the crowd going nuts and chanting at the close. There are several videos at YouTube from various angles, including ones from above that capture the immensity of the crowd and cheering. But I love this one, shot from behind the orchestra, which shows the scene near the stage, with dancers, young people crying, and then the overwhelming response at the end. Of course, this fits one of the themes of our new book:  Beethoven's incredible global influence even in the political sphere.

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