Recognize the rhythm?
Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.
My family has enjoyed many musical productions at the Hult Center, our local performing arts theater in Eugene, Oregon. When the opportunity arose this summer to buy season tickets to the Eugene Symphony Orchestra’s concerts, I did.
Last Thursday my daughter and I went to hear the work by Ludwig van Beethoven. The concert also included metropolitan opera soprano Christine Brewer performing Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs as well as a work by Maurice Ravel, La valse.
According to Wikipedia, Beethoven faced the onset of deafness early in his career. Listening to this symphony, which was composed during his middle period after the deafness had begun to plague him, I wondered if the strength of the work, the repeated stanzas, and the striking downbeats helped him “hear” the work because of the rhythms produced.
One would not have to hear the notes to sense the pulse of the music. The repeated motion of the bows on the violins, the booming of the timpani and the call of the trumpets would all have produced a resonance anyone in the audience could feel, even if they could not hear.
In Psalm 150 (NKJV) we are told to praise the Lord with trumpet, lute, and harp, with the timbrel and dance, with stringed instruments and flutes, with loud and crashing cymbals. The beauty and physical impact of the music Thursday made me think of the angelic annunciations surrounding Christ’s birth when the angels gathered over the shepherds and sang, Glory to God in the Highest, the volume of the voices and the overwhelming display in the night sky frightening those humble men who tended their sheep.
Sitting there Thursday night I could only imagine how beautiful the music will be when we reach heaven and sit before the throne. I’m convinced I will feel as well as hear the power and majesty of the heavenly orchestra.