Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft
An ode to joy : a season of grief
- Beethoven's Ninth in Bailey Hall the other evening, April 20, ending in an instant standing ovation by a clearly enchanted audience, was an unforgettable experience. And, like all such truly extraordinary events that are marked not only by artistic merit, but draw their power from the circumstances surrounding their creation or performance, it recalled others and enhanced their significance. I was reminded of a stellar performance on Christmas Day of 1989, only weeks after the unexpected fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, that haunting date in German history. Few people believed it would ever happen. But now, suddenly, reunification in justice and freedom, as the truncated old national anthem phrases it, was within reach.