networking beaver

last time the beaver threw out a group question to the band, it was in reference to carl nielsen’s supremely weird sixth symphony.  well, it just so happens we’ve got another sixth symphony coming up this weekend (a pair of ‘em, in fact).  i threw out a question to some os musicians on this random free social networking site you’ve never heard of, and here’s the latest status of the conversation:

the classical beaver: okay, this will probably be the last time i collectively bug all of you this season – and let me say i feel lucky to be able to do so.  the classical beaver is wondering: what is one of your favorite moments to play in Beethoven’s symphony #6?

Jeffrey Work (trumpet king, btw): Perhaps my favorite spot, though I don’t actually play it, is the last gasp of the thunderstorm’s breath, just before the oboe brings the sun through the clouds… It’s a truly magical moment.

Alicia DiDonato Paulsen (flute queen, btw): The end of the second movement has these sweet bird calls.  In fact, it’s marked “Nightengale” in my part.  I really love that; but any piece by Beethoven is always a joy to perform and experience.  His music is chock full of humanity.

Jonathan Greeney (god of thunder, btw): I would have to say the 4th movement since it’s the only movement I play in.

Charles Noble (xo of the mighty, mighty viola section, btw): I love the opening of the symphony.  Within seconds, Beethoven sets the mood.  You know exactly where he wants you to be, and the scene is set in your head.  Perfect pastoral scenery, all through sound.  Amazing.

Marilyn De Oliveira (xo of the mighty, mighty cello section, btw): mmm… so many in this one… I love the middle of the third movement, the “merry assembly of country folk,” when the celli and basses take this party from formal-but-fun to rowdy-and-wild! 😉  Sooooo awesome!!  Of course, leave it to the rain to cut our party short.  Also, after the storm, it’s incredible how Beethoven takes us to a whole new spiritual level, replacing awe of nature with gratefulness to God–all in the melody of the final movement.  Transcendent.

Nancy Ives (marilyn’s boss, btw): I love everything my colleagues are saying!  I always enjoy the drunken bassoon, too.

I have to admit to something.  This piece is forever inhabited for me by one of the most poignant scenes in any science fiction movie, or any genre for that matter.  It is brilliantly used to represent the natural beauty completely missing from the dystopian society of Soylent Green.  The Edward G. Robinson character – old enough to remember flowers and trees and sweet blue skies – is treated to the sights and sounds of nature in exchange for voluntarily submitting to assisted suicide, euphemistically referred to as “going home.”  I get choked up just thinking about the scene!  Robinson’s character is crushed by horror and despair and then we hear passages from Beethoven’s Sixth, perfectly joyful and peaceful, indeed pastoral, and we can’t bear the thought of losing that from the world.

and the beave thought the king’s speech had the best use of Ludwig in a motion picture!  guess i’ll have to stop by movie madness this week and settle this once and for all…

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1 Response to “networking beaver”


  1. 1 Jordan Lewis April 4, 2011 at 11:30 am

    It’s not Beethoven and it’s not a movie, but as I was watching episode 7 of season 2 of Dexter I was very surprised to encounter Chopin’s Nocturne #2 in E Flat Major. And it wasn’t just a nice use of the music to underscore the action in the show! Two of the main characters actually have a dialog and discuss the piece. The main FBI investigator is listening to jazz and trying to figure out who the serial killer is and he asks the local cop if she has any Chopin. Later in the show she is listening to the music while on the treadmill at the gym and it has a powerful effect on her.
    Excellent use of classical music in pop culture.


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