Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Japanese Do Beethoven

The great Rachel Lucas linked to this video on her blog a few days ago.  It is a simply wonderful performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony (Ode to Joy).

This was a fund raising concert performed for the Japanese tsunami relief effort. What an ensemble!

I admit I'm a sucker for classical German composers, particularly Bach (who'd of thought so much beautiful music could come out of a droll Lutheran - just joking, just joking!)

I'm not a very good German speaker, but the diction sounds pretty good.  Quite an achievement for singers who's native language isn't European-based.  Years ago when I was taking our daughter Aileen to music practice at Emory University for the Atlanta Youth Symphony I got to sit in on some of the choral group practice sessions.  I was always amazed at the emphasis on diction.  These were professionally trained voices so hitting the right notes at the right time wasn't an issue.  Getting the composer's lyrics, intonation and intent correct was their big concern, and there were plenty of discussions between the singers and the conductor as to how particular sections of the lyrics should sound.

Where else but in Japan could you say to 10,000 performers, "If you wanna' jam with us show up in formal wear" 

...and they all comply!

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