Coronavirus, Earthquakes and Beethoven – Zagreb I Love You So

Total Croatia News

Copyright Unimedia
Copyright Unimedia

Copyright Unimedia

June the 5th, 2020 – As we wrote on June the 1st, 2020, the initiative Zagreb, I love you so (Zagreb, take imam te rad) enacted and organised by the Unimedia Agency from Zagreb, opened with a panel discussion aimed to raise awareness about the necessity of a thorough restoration of the many historic venues damaged by the catastrophic earthquake in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic back in March.

If you missed it, you can find more details here.

As announced by the organiser, the second part of the action, and quite a special one indeed, is going to take place in the atrium of the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences (HAZU) on Sunday the 7th of June, 2020, at 20:00. It will be worth every little bit of attention and is going to be streamed on the platform of and on this YouTube channel. Make sure not to miss it, here’s why:

Ludwig van Beethoven was born exactly 250 years ago. The world was preparing to celebrate one the of the most brilliant authors of all times, but then… the coronavirus pandemic sneaked in. And an earthquake shook Zagreb in the midst of it. Worldwide, events and concerts in the honour of the great master had to be cancelled.

The Zagreb Soloists wanted to give their share in the anniversary and adapted to the situation in a unique way. Sreten Krstic, their concert master, composer and teacher of music, was essentially inspired by the limits imposed by the pandemic and, for the first time known to us, re-orchestrated one of Beethoven’s most admired oeuvres and adapted it to the formation of a chamber orchestra. That is the version we’re going to hear on Saturday evening.

The first four notes, the famous ‘ta-ta-ta-taaa’ opening Beethoven’s Symphony no.5 have entered the ear of most every human on Earth. When we listen to this glorious mainstay of classical music, we enjoy the harmonies, the rhythm, the dynamics and those often surprising specific musical colours of his characteristic orchestration, imagining what we feel or what we want as music has no boundaries.

As lovers of classical music, we seldom think of what inspired the author, of what is his real message and a real content of the particular piece. Here are some hints to help us be more aware of what Beethoven had in mind, and, especially and separately, why his Fifth Symphony is so adequate for this particular evening, as it is special and important in more ways than one.

Another thing everybody knows is that Beethoven started losing his hearing in his early years and that he ended his life totally deaf (although some evidence suggests that he could hear low tones and sudden loud sounds to his last day). What a setback for a musician!

In 1802, on the advice of his doctor, he moved to the small Austrian town of Heiligenstadt. In his letters to his brothers, he often mentioned his growing deafness and suicidal thoughts, but also his resolution to continue living for and through his art, how he had to ”seize fate by the throat, it shall certainly not crush me completely”.

This can be taken as the message of this Symphony to all : do not kneel, fight fate. And to coronavirus and the earthquakes we say: You can’t crush us completely!

Make sure you dedicate less than one hour of your time on Sunday evening to this message that eventually will also be spread to the world through a delayed broadcast of Croatian National TV (HRT) and the US based cable TV and communications platform Comcast. Zagreb is greeting the world through the Zagreb Soloists, its honoured and honourable ambassadors!

Plug in, enjoy and be proud. For we will never be crushed!

For more on coronavirus, follow our dedicated section.


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