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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Beethoven's Ninth: Big in Japan

Masaaki Suzuki in December 2023. Creative Commons photo by Jiewei Xiong, details here. 

Tyler Cowen's podcast series, "Conversations With Tyler," has a new episode up, an interview with Masaaki Suzuki, who has recorded a huge amount of Johann Sebastian Bach's music. Suzuki is a conductor, organist and harpsichord player and is the founder and leader of Bach Collegium Japan. 

Given Robert Anton Wilson's interest in Beethoven in general, and in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in particular, I thought I would share this bit:

COWEN: What do you think of the hypothesis that Japanese audiences — they have a special interest in iconic works such as Beethoven’s Ninth, and there’s an insistence that they hear the best or experience the best, and single out very particular things. Do you think that’s true?

SUZUKI: Yes, Beethoven’s Ninth is very special here, especially in December. There are more than a hundred performances of Beethoven’s Ninth only in December.

There's more at the link, and classical music buffs will find the whole interview interesting. I link to both a video and audio links and a transcript, but simply as a podcast, it's available in all the usual places. 

Tyler is a careful and polite interviewer. He has been trying for awhile now to get an interview set up with Paul McCartney. I'm pretty certain Paul would not regret agreeing to the interview, but Tyler has not been able to land it. Can anyone help? 

1 comment:

Joseph Matheny said...

The 9th has been my favorite "accompaniment" piece since the 80s. I am fond of the CSO version conducted by Solti, but everyone has their personal favorite.