Way back in the 18th Century Beethoven embarked on what he called a 'grand experiment. The experiment was the composition of the magnificent 9th Symphony. Last week, the San Francisco Symphony rendition was fresh, alive and relevant in a way most artists only dream their work being two hundred years 'post production.' But it was the text that really rang my bells. Consider these lines, penned by Friedrich von Schiller:
"All beings drink of joy/at nature's breast. All those who are good, all those who are evil/follow her rose-strewn path./She gave us kisses and vines,/a friend proven until death./The serpent is corrupt. The cherub stands before God./As joyfully as the planets fly/through heaven's magnificent spaces: Brothers follow your path/joyfully, as a hero rides toward victory.
"Be embraced, you millions!/This kiss is for the world! Brothers - a loving father must live/Above the canopy of stars."
And this? Sung by a chorus of over 100 voices. Talk about 'what the world needs now...'