Finding Inner Peace Listening to Beethoven

Oct 23, 2017

How can classical music change your outlook on life? Beethoven’s life and music may hold a key. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talks to conductor Cristian Măcelaru about Beethoven's ability to connect with the humanity in all of us.

Listen to The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI 90.1 this Sunday at 1 pm to hear Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 and Orff's Carmine Burana.

Radio script:  

[Music: Beethoven, Symphony No. 2 ]

Beethoven speaks to one thing so important in discovering what classical music can do for us.

Susan Lewis: Beethoven was just 30 years old when he composed his second symphony in 1801—and he knew he was losing his hearing. Conductor Cristian Măcelaru says at a time when music had been elegant entertainment, Beethoven poured a sense of humanity into his works.

Cristian Măcelaru: He speaks of who we are in reality, rather than a higher echelon of a bourgeois social class. This is what I love about Beethoven—even the jokes he makes, they are more of the people.

SL: Tapping into the full range of emotions, Beethoven explored new ways of orchestrating, producing powerful works that put human concerns in perspective.

CM: Beethoven speaks to one thing so important in discovering what classical music can do for us, and that is finding a personal source of happiness and inner peace, which is why I think he loved nature so much as well, because you find yourself a pawn in a much, much grander picture. 

SL: A grander picture that inspires awe and possibility.

CM: I think art will forever live because it defines who we can be as humans. 

SL: Beethoven connected with people of his day; a reported 20,000 came to his funeral procession  in 1827. He’s since become one of the most admired and emulated composers of all time.