Ode To Freedom!

“The Wall Is Down and the City is Euphoric!” Bernstein’s legendary performance in Berlin after the wall came down of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the last movement “Ode to Joy”. He made a spur of the moment change in the libretto, from “Freude” (Joy) to “Freiheit” (Freedom), making this literally the concert to celebrate freedom. In this performance, the choir is composed partially of several children’s choirs, a reminder that what we do in this world is what our children will inherit, what they will learn from, and what they will have to pass on. I do not believe that anyone was prepared for the swiftness and force with which the wall went up, the division of families, literally trapped on opposite sides, of a nation, and of the world. Seldom has any people been prepared or expected the sweeping force of oppression, and we as human beings have frequently realized much too late, that what we cherish and perhaps take for granted can disappear in a moment. The momentum for this type of tragedy typically gains force and power for many years before, in subtle ways which are easily unnoticed. Germany, Russia, China, Cuba… they were not expecting it. However, on the brighter side, in their arrogance, I do not believe the Romans thought their empire would fall, nor did the British or the French apparently anticipate what happens when a people come together, and stand together in revolution. I do not think that the sweeping changes brought about by the leadership of single individuals such as Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and the people that stood with them were expected to have so much force either. A powerful performance that expresses the joy that comes from living in freedom… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87ZjWz_xR0E

Karine Stone