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Ludwig van Beethoven

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Everything will pass, and the world will perish but the Ninth Symphony will remain.
--
Michael Bakunin, quoted in Edmund Wilson's To the Finland Station (1940)

 
Ludwig van Beethoven

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"The point of recapitulation in the first movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony unleashes one of the most horrifyingly violent episodes in the history of music....The point is not to hold up Beethoven as exceptionally monstrous. The Ninth Symphony is probably our most compelling articulation in music of the contradictory impulses that have organized patriarchal culture since the Enlightenment. Moreover, within the parameters of his own musical compositions, he may be heard as enacting a critique of narrative obligations that is...devestating."

 
Susan McClary
 

What is the Ninth Symphony compared to a Tin Pan Alley hit played on a hurdy-gurdy and a memory?

 
Karl Kraus
 

Faust, the Ninth Symphony, and the will of Adolf Hitler are eternal youth and know neither time nor transience.

 
Baldur von Schirach
 

Just as I was starting on my journey the idea came to me for a new symphony, this time with a program, but a program which will remain an enigma to all— let them guess it who can. It will be called "A Programmatic Symphony" (No. 6). During my trip, while composing in my mind, I frequently shed tears. When I got home I settled down to sketch it, and the work went so furiously that I had the first movement completely ready in less than four days and the remaining movements are already clearly outlined in my head. Half the third movement is already done. There will be much innovation of form in this symphony— and incidentally, the finale will not be a noisy allegro but, on the contrary, a long drawn-out adagio. You can't imagine what bliss I feel, being convinced that my time is not yet passed and I can still work. Perhaps, of course, I'm mistaken, but I don't think so.

 
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
 

It seemed to me that had Haydn lived to our day he would have retained his own style while accepting something of the new at the same time. That was the kind of symphony I wanted to write: a symphony in the classical style. And when I saw that my idea was beginning to work, I called it the Classical Symphony.

 
Sergei Prokofiev
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