Beethoven’s Ninth: The Story Behind The Masterpiece
Professor Kelly will present a brief taste of his popular Harvard course, “First Nights.” We’ll begin in 1814 Vienna, using pictures and sound to recapture the first performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony – perhaps the best-known piece of classical music. This talk will let us in on some things that Beethoven’s audience knew about, and it may change the way we listen to a favorite (or a new) piece of music.
I was a student in Professor Kelly’s course First Nights at Harvard years ago, and I was delighted to see this session listed here. This is a thoroughly enjoyable exploration of the social and historical context surrounding the premiere of the Ninth Symphony, with deep dives into parts of the music itself. Highly recommended for anyone who is a classical music fan!