Accent vincent P. de Luise, M. D

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Vincent P. de Luise, M.D., Assistant 

Professor,  Yale  University     




Cultural Ambassador, Waterbury Symphony Orchestra

Ludwig van Beethoven   

(Bonn, December 16, 1770 - Vienna, March 26, 1827)

Symphony  no.  9  in  d  minor,  Op  125  (“Choral”)                                                                                                                                       

I. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso     

II.  Scherzo:  Molto vivace -Presto      

III.  Adagio molto e cantabile       

IV.  Recitative – Presto – Adagio - Presto - Maestoso  

Scored for pairs of flutes, oboes, bassoons and  clarinets,  

contrabassoon, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, 4 horns, 

percussion, strings, 

soprano, alto, tenor, bass, and SATB choir

“Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and 



Ludwig van Beethoven 


Ludwig van Beethoven’s ninth 

symphony, the “Choral,” is one of 

the greatest artistic achievements of 

western civilization.

 It is a celebration of hope 

and joy, a transcendent masterpiece crafted by a composer 

who could not hear his magisterial creation. It is an 

extraordinary, monumental, complex, and powerful work 

that continues to challenge musicians, soloists, choruses, 

and listeners, as it celebrates the most wondrous shared 

dreams of humanity, of community, of happiness, of 

freedom, together “beneath the starry realm.”

Beethoven first began to notice hearing loss in 1796, at the 

age of 26; he would live with progressive deafness for thirty 

more years. In 1802, he wrote an anguished letter 


to his brothers, Carl and Johann, the manifesto known as 

the Heiligenstadt Testament, a letter that he never sent, 

telling them of the despair he felt at this painfully ironic 

turn of events, that he of all people was going deaf ! deaf 

!, and explaining in heart-wrenching detail what this 

would mean for him. How was he going to perform as a 

pianist? to conduct? How was he going to practice his Art? 

Resolute and defiant, he would do so, bringing to bear his 

indefatigable work ethic and indomitable spirit against that 

implacable enemy, deafness.

What is the relationship between illness and creativity? 

Beethoven’s genius birthed Romanticism. He blew wide 

open the door that Mozart had earlier knocked on. The 

year was 1805; the composition was his third symphony, 

“Eroica” (“Heroic”). Yet, it was Beethoven’s deafness after 

1819 that led him into a new and private sound world, 

a tonal universe totally in his mind. Within that solitary 

and lonely space, Beethoven composed an extraordinary 

corpus of music that took Romanticism into another realm. 

Would posterity have had this majestic ninth symphony, 

the sublime Missa Solemnis, the ineffable late string 

quartets and piano sonatas, in the melodic and harmonic 

form we know them, had Beethoven had normal hearing? 


APRIL 22, 2017 



750 Chase Parkway,  Waterbury

TICKETS: $55, $35, $20  

($5 college student rush) 

$5 Child with adult ticket

call for tickets: (203) 574-4283 


Ode to Joy 

An emphasis or “punch” at the beginning of a musical sound.

Beethoven in 1823 by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller

Beethoven’s spirituality also played a role in these final, 

greatest and most remarkable compositions. Genius is 

often the result of an artist overcoming a life challenge, 

vanquishing their demons. Beethoven fought illness 

throughout his life, and triumphed. As you listen, watch 

and are uplifted this evening, think about Beethoven’s 

mind, his spirit, his courage, his Art.

The genesis of the ninth symphony began early in 

Beethoven’s life. In 1790, he began setting to music a 

1785 poem and drinking song by Friedrich Schiller, an 

die Freude  (“To Joy”). His 1795 Lied (German art song), 

Gegenliebe (“Returned Love”), already contained the motif 

that he would later employ as the Ode to Joy theme. In 

1808, he wrote a groundbreaking composition for piano, 

orchestra and chorus, the Choral Fantasia, whose theme 

is also reminiscent of the Ode to Joy.  Beethoven himself 

acknowledged the kinship of the two works; he described 

the ninth symphony’s last movement as “a setting of the 

words of Schiller’s immortal Lied, an die Freude, in the 

same way as my pianoforte fantasia with chorus, but on 

a far grander scale.” The Ode to Joy motif can be found 

earlier, in Mozart’s Misericordia Domini of 1775; however, 

it is highly unlikely Beethoven ever heard the work or saw 

the autograph. Rather, it is a form of “convergent musical 

evolution” that led Mozart and Beethoven independently 

to conceive the melody, which speaks to its simplicity and 


The Philharmonic Society of London commissioned 

the ninth symphony in 1817. Beethoven worked on it 

intermittently for years, while battling constant intestinal 

maladies, completing the score in 1824, only after he 

had finished composing the massive Diabelli Variations 

(dedicated to his “ Immortal Beloved,” likely Antonie 

Brentano), and the Missa Solemnis. Upset at how he 

perceived the Viennese had treated him (Beethoven was 

always famously upset at something), he had wanted to 

premiere the work in Berlin or London, but a group of 

thirty influential friends and musical colleagues petitioned 

him, “the one man of all men who we all recognize as 

the foremost of living men,” to have it performed first in 

Vienna.  Immensely flattered, he relented. So it was that 

on May 7, 1824, in the Theater am Kärntnertor, the ninth 

symphony was premiered, along with the overture, “The 

Consecration of the House”, and a section from the Missa 

Solemnis. It was Beethoven’s first on-stage appearance in 

twelve years.  The hall was packed with an enthusiastic and 

expectant crowd; however, his aristocratic patrons were 

mostly absent, having stopped financially supporting him 

by then. 

Though Michael Umlauf conducted, Beethoven was 

invited to be present on the stage to give the tempos for 

each movement. The violinist Joseph Böhm recalled that 

“Beethoven stood before the podium and gesticulated 

furiously before each movement. At times he rose, at other 

times he shrank to the ground, moving as if he wanted to 

play all the instruments himself, and sing for the whole 

chorus. The musicians minded his rhythm alone while 

playing.” Wild applause followed both the scherzo and after 

the final majestic choral finale. Beethoven remained facing 

the orchestra, leafing through the score and beating time, 

unaware of the impact and unable to hear the ovation. 

The alto Caroline Unger had to tap him on the shoulder 

and help turn him around to face the ecstatic, rapturous 


The symphony begins in tonal limbo, as if the orchestra is 

tuning to an amorphous and wandering A major chord, 

sound emerging from silence. Gradually, it modulates 

to the tonic of d minor, and then in the recapitulation, 

morphs into a powerful D major.  The second movement 

is a sprightly scherzo and trio, one of many brilliant 

Beethovenian innovations (scherzos historically were 

slotted as third movements).  The ensuing Adagio 

becomes the third movement - spacious, leisurely, and 

dramatically placed to maximize the effect of the finale. 

The musicologist Charles Rosen comments that the last 

movement is a symphony in itself: “its first movement” 

introduces a theme with variations, appearing first in the 

cellos and basses, then echoed by vocal soloists and chorus; 

the “second movement” is a scherzo in military style 

with Turkish influences (echoing Mozart’s Entführung); 


A bust by Hugo Hagen based upon Beethoven’s life mask

the “third movement” is a lyrical reverie; and the “fourth 

movement” is a fugue on the themes of the previous 

movements.”  Beethoven being Beethoven, he changed 

some of Schiller’s lyrics to reflect his own views on freedom 

and brotherhood.  The memorable Ode to Joy theme is 

universal in its immediacy and melodic beauty:

Beethoven’s ninth set the bar for all future composers: 

Schumann, Wagner, Brahms, Bruckner and Mahler 

paid homage to it. While the Nobel Prize author 

Romain Rolland wrote that the Ode to Joy is a paean 

to the brotherhood of all peoples, the theme was also 

misappropriated by the Nazis and the Rhodesian 

supremacist government, and during the Cultural 

Revolution in China, it was used as an example of class 

struggle. Despite this, it lives on today as the anthem of 

the European Union, and in concert halls, and on radio 

stations, LPs and CDs throughout the world, The autograph 

of the score, in the Berlin State Library, was the first 

musical composition in the United Nations Memory of the 

World Heritage list.                                                         

Beethoven, the humanist; Beethoven, the composer for 

the common man; Beethoven, the victor over constant 

struggle; Beethoven, the exceptionalist; Beethoven, the 

universal composer;   for eternity.     







Ars longa!  © 2017 Vincent P. de Luise 


Mill House Antiques & Gardens 

Friday, June 9  5:30-8pm 

(Rain date June 10)

Annual Wine Event

Jazz, Wine & Gardens Our Annual Event!

Join us to experience the exquisite gardens of Mill 

House Antiques!

The Waterbury Symphony Orchestra to host the Annual 

Wine Event, “Jazz in the Garden” from the Great Amer-

ican Songbook, on June 9, 2017 at 5:30pm-8pm at the 

stunning grounds of Mill House Antiques & Gardens, 

located at 1068 Main Street North, Woodbury.  Maestro 

Leif Bjaland and the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra 

invite you to celebrate in the culmination of our 79th 

season! Enjoy an evening that includes 36 elegant wine 

tasting and craft beers presented by Nutmeg Fine Wines 

& Spirits, specialty chocolates from Fascia’s Choco-

lates to pair perfectly with each wine. A delicious light 

Mediterranean supper catered by Noujaim’s Mediterra-

nean Bistro, of exquisite and savory dishes will make an 

incredible evening of Jazz absolutely spectacular & one 

to remember.

Enjoy a jazz trio from the Waterbury Symphony 

Orchestra as they perform during the evening from 

classics taken from the Great American Songbook, truly 

making the evening quintessential Americana.

$50 | person Cocktail Attire

RSVP by Friday May 26

All proceeds will benefit the  

Waterbury Symphony Orchestra

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