Last summer, my son and daughter-in-law took my 2.5- year-old grandson Harlan to Chicago’s Grant Park to listen to whatever music was being performed. He could sit on the grass or dance. He danced.
Thanksgiving week we were playing around in his living room. My son casually picked out the beginning notes of “Ode to Joy” (4th movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony) on Harlan’s toy piano. Harlan, now three, was playing with his toy train but he perked up when he heard the melody.
Then, amazingly, he started singing – in German.
Both my son and I were astounded – that he recognized the melody, that he remembered the German words, and that he sang them pretty much on key.
Harlan’s mom is German and is teaching him that language along with English and a myriad other things.
There are perhaps a hundred language variations of that particular section of Beethoven’s work. I believe that it is adapted so often, in so many contexts, because it may well be the most joyfully triumphant piece of music ever written.
But what could be more triumphant than a performance by a three-year-old boy in a Chicago living room?
Thursday, November 29, 2018
Labels: connections, contemporary life
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Beethoven lives is a beautiful blog!