Finding Inner Peace Listening to Beethoven

May 14, 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 Macelaru about Beethoven's ability to connect with the humanity in all of us.

Radio script:  

[Music: Beethoven, Symphony No. 2 ]

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 Macelaru says at a time when music had been elegant entertainment, Beethoven poured a sense of humanity into his works.

Cristian Macelaru: 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.