Books | Beethoven ‘The Ninth’: The politics and history that shaped Beethoven’s last symphony | Seattle Times Newspaper

Books | 'The Ninth': The politics and history that shaped Beethoven's last symphony | Seattle Times Newspaper.

Some orchestra needs to come up with a "beyond the score" type multimedia performance of the ninth. It sounds like this book would be a good place to find numerous intriguing and humorous details. I can imagine numerous performances being easy to sell out. Everyone knows the Ninth. But even more people would attend a fleshed out presentation with actors, pictures, stories, and, of course a performance of the great symphony.

Excerpts from the review:

What sets Harvey Sachs' book apart from others on this subject (such as Esteban Buch's estimable 2003 "Beethoven's Ninth") is the deeply personal nature of this narrative. This work clearly means a great deal to Sachs, who describes at length his own experience of this symphony and its effect on him. At times, "The Ninth" takes on the tinge of a love letter: "I still think of him," Sachs muses of Beethoven, "as my alpha and omega."

Sachs' account of the premiere of the Ninth is extraordinarily detailed, right down to the number of times one of the singers (during the rehearsal period) vomited after drinking bad wine. (Fifteen.) He creates a vivid picture of a half-amateur orchestra and chorus grappling with error-strewn, hard-to-read manuscript parts during the course of only two rehearsals. One reviewer wrote tactfully, "The singers did what they could."

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