Beethoven Symphony No. 9
Carola Glaser, soprano
Katiuska Rodríguez, mezzosoprano
Idwer Álvarez, tenor
Andreas Daum, baritone

Venezuela Symphony Orchestra

This is a difficult performance for me to assess. I have had very different opinions about it. This is probably a result of rather slow tempos in the first three movements, except for the middle section (Presto) of the second movement. The reason for these tempos has to do with my view of the first movement, which I believe to be a struggle against forces that can't be defeated, reminiscent of Leonidas at Thermopylae. Thus, there is grimness in this performance.

On the other hand, the change of text from "Freude" (Joy) to "Freiheit" (Freedom) in the last movement was very well received here in Venezuela. In the booklet I justify this change by emphasizing the more substantial nature of freedom, which can make possible development and action at the individual level, as opposed to joy, which is merely a personal state of mind, as it is understood today. However, the fact that we have been progressively losing individual freedom in this country for many years now was also a factor, which accounts for the positive reactions. Needless to say, it didn't make any difference in that regard, although it felt good doing it. It may be the reason that the last movement seems to be the most successful.

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