Friday, April 20, 2007

Ode to Joy

One great benefit of being in grad school is the convenience to continue my choral pursuits. From that perspective, Cornell has worked out very nicely since it has an excellent choral program.

Earlier tonight, the Cornell University Glee Club and Cornell University Chorus, in conjunction with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, performed Beethoven's 9th Symphony (Ode to Joy). Beethoven's 9th Symphony is one of the greatest musical masterpieces in human history, and the performance tonight was very moving.

It amazes me that Beethoven could've composed this work after he'd become completely deaf. I've often stated my preference to view things logically and scientifically. But at the same time, I've never ceased to marvel at such fantastic feats of human brilliance. I think that without the ability to be amazed, life would carry far less meaning. Indeed, it is these amazing qualities of humans and the world around us which ultimately led me down this road of grad school. These same qualities also keep me tied to music.

To me, music is both a release and a celebration. As Professor Tucker teaches us, each performance creates a unique emotional connection between each member of the choir as well as the audience. The connection exists for but a moment before it is forever locked away into the past.

Maybe it's a human failing to be such slaves to emotion. Maybe we'd all be more efficient otherwise (certainly more rational). But so long as we are able to experience such powerful feelings of joy, awe, anger, sorrow and fear, I want music to lift me and move me. Such moments are ones that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

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