Beethoven’s ‘Ninth Symphony’ celebrates 200 years to the rhythm of bagpipes and muiñeira | Culture

Beethoven’s ‘Ninth Symphony’ celebrates 200 years to the rhythm of bagpipes and muiñeira | Culture
Beethoven’s ‘Ninth Symphony’ celebrates 200 years to the rhythm of bagpipes and muiñeira | Culture

It was on May 7, 1824. That day music exploded from the Theater am Kärntnertor in Vienna. Then what some consider today a global anthem, the most popular melody, sounded: the Ninth Symphonyby Ludwig van Beethoven. It was the composer’s first appearance on stage in 12 years, and, of course, everything was sold out. Two hundred years later, those same compositions will be played again in the National Auditorium of Madrid to celebrate that milestone, and not in any way, but with a popular tribute that will feature an orchestra of 100 musicians, 250 non-professional choir singers gathered on stage and even a bagpipe band. “Someone who sings cannot leave this life without singing the ninth“, expresses the director of the recital, Ramón Torrelledó, between rehearsal and rehearsal.

The concert, organized by the publisher The sun bed and which will be held in the symphony hall of the National Auditorium of Madrid on Monday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m., is presented as a tribute to the most popular musical diversity, from Beethoven’s symphony to the vibrant compositions of zarzuela and the Galician tradition . During the two hours of the recital, the Beethoven Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ramón Torrelledó, will jump across these two eclectic centuries of classical music, which unite Beethoven with the Spanish romanticism of the composers Ruberto Chapí and Gerónimo Giménez. The culmination will come with the symphonic poem to muiñeira for symphonic orchestra and voice, where classical joins Galician music accompanied by the Royal Band of Pipers of Orense, directed by Xosé Luis Foxo.

“It is not news that the Ninth, because it is played every day in some concert in the world, but the twist we give it is the popular music that accompanies it,” explains Torrelledó: “The popular is what inspires classical music, and this is one of the most popular that exists. It is the universal work, the only one declared World Heritage, the anthem of Europe and the one that inspired all the music that has come after,” explains the conductor who founded the Beethoven Symphony Orchestra on February 4 at the National Auditorium as an excuse to push to the public to classical music through the most unusual paths. “It is our tribute to the most popular composer that we pay from Spain,” says this musician, who was a member of orchestras such as the Bucharest Philharmonic, the Moscow Symphony, the Cairo Opera Symphony and the European Concert Orchestra. Now he wants to help Beethoven be known from all kinds of angles, dedicated to everyone who admires him, even without knowing him, and appreciates every turn.

The conductor Ramón Torrelledó, in Madrid, in 2019.SANTI BURGOS

The ultimate goal is for the public to be moved, regardless of the music. “I can’t stand Led Zeppelin being separated from Beethoven, that types of music are treated differently through labels. Many times there has been a war between the classic one, which said that what was popular had no value, and the modern one, which pointed out that the other was elitist. Our foundation is to reach everyone,” explains the conductor born in Castro Urdiales, who remembers that already in the 19th century the “purists” did not allow the fourth movement of the Ninth Symphony to be played because they saw “the incredible innovation of including voices like an insult”. Even Beethoven was accused of being popular as a negative thing: “There was a prejudice and Beethoven broke it. It also included something prohibited until his arrival: percussion instruments with indeterminate sounds such as the triangle and the bass drum.

“The Ninth Symphony It is the musical breath that helped me love music, to move me. Because it is one thing to study it and another to love it,” explains Torrelledó, who has fused for this special occasion the Ninth Symphony with a piece of his soul, through the poem To muiñeira, composed as a tribute to the Galicia that the economist, writer and editor Javier Santiso, his friend, knew from France: “It is a nightmare mixture of someone who is in France, but thinks of Galicia. That incredible feeling of how Galician tribes unite wherever they are. For this it will sound united from the popular song I will give you to Beethoven’s ninth. A door without prejudices to all types of music. As happened in that packed hall of the Vienna theater in 1824. Music that has been popular for 200 years.

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