you say goodbye and i say hello – part III

Ludwig van Beethoven’s fourth symphony, an underdog amongst its monumental siblings, is just so much fuckin’ fun.  i’m sorry for those with sensitive cochleas, but there’s really no other way to say it.  c’mon, instead of the ever-scowling, hunched-over, frizzy-haired man we’ve come to expect, the composer of this particular piece happens to be an impishly slick 35-year-old who’s lovin’ life and havin’ a blast.  perfectly constructed from start to finish, absolutely chock-full of beautiful contradictions and surprising combinations… jeez-o-man, i’m starting to think it’s one of the most brilliant things LvB ever wrote.  the opening movement is epic: imagine the band ambling along for a couple minutes like an old western four-horse carriage, until the conductor spots a group of bandits on the horizon and decides to make a run for it, suddenly whipping his trusty steeds into a musical frenzy, wooden wheels spinning up pebbles and dust as the chase begins.  whew!  a surprisingly schizophrenic slow movement follows, in which uncle Ludwig somehow points to haydn and mahler simultaneously.  the third movement would be the ideal soundtrack for when you find yourself getting inside one of those giant inflatable hamster balls for humans and rolling down the side of an alpine mountain.  wheee!!!  last but not least, the finale: Beethoven indicates this music should be played allegro ma non troppo, an italian phrase that means as if hunting a squirrel (roughly translated).  it’s quick as bach, cute as mozart, and mischievous as rossini, ending this phenomenal rollercoaster of a symphony with a sudden jolt.

and what a way to hear it: live, acoustic, with maestro gregory and the band… wow!  makes me so proud to be a season subscriber.  and to those musicians who had a double bass, a woodwind (especially a bassoon), or a timpani mallet in their hands for this music, extra-special beavertail salutes go out to each and every one of you.  [even though you make me cry in public.  seriously.  it’s getting embarrassing.  cut it out.]  – xoxo, cb

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