90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Inside Beethoven’s 9th Symphony

We deconstruct the music, and look at the world that inspired it.

"Ludwig van Beethoven," by Karl Joseph Stieler (Credit: Art Archive/Beethoven House)

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with its “Ode to Joy” finale, has come down through the centuries as history’s great and towering hymn to freedom, joy, brotherhood.

We roll it out as a climax, a capstone, a high marker of moments of human profundity.

But the year of its premier, 1824, in Vienna, was a time of great repression, of ultra-conservative nationalism, as old dynasties pushed back against years of Enlightenment and revolution.

This Hour, On Point: Beethoven’s Ninth, in the tide of history.

Guests:

Harvey Sachs, music historian whose new book is called “The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824.” He is on faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. You can read an excerpt (copyright Random House 2010.)

James Conlon, music director for the Los Angeles Opera. He also serves as music director for the Ravinia Festival in Chicago and the Cincinatti May Festival. He has conducted performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

 
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: December 19, 2014
Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Rage, shortlinks and things you people seem to be into, we guess. Also, Putin.

More »
Comment
 
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment