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April 30, 2008

TT: Almanac

"The last line uttered by the Devil in the first part of Goethe's Faust is the abrupt command, Her zu mir! Faust's adventure is over, his dream of eternal happiness gone. The Devil, who had been waiting ironically, says 'Come to me!' and it is over. I think of that line whenever I hear the first movement of Beethoven's Ninth where, time and again with a compulsive beauty, the key changes to that ominous note of pity and terror against which all but courage and art quails. From the statement of the opening theme this key-change has been inevitable. One senses, even if one does not know, that it is sure to come, and it does."

Hugh MacLennan, The Watch That Ends the Night

Posted April 30, 2008 12:00 AM

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